Unite shop stewards at Bombardier have a second meeting with council party leaders to raise threat of compulsory redundancies and outsourcing

crowd5After current round of redundancies Northern Ireland workforce will be one-third what it was eight years ago

Union blasts Bombardier corporate plan to make five thousand workers redundant globally to increase operating profits by $250 million

March 14th: Susan Fitzgerald, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer responsible for Bombardier confirmed that shop stewards this morning met with a delegation of Belfast councillors, including the Lord Mayor, ahead of the councillors’ meeting the company’s management over compulsory redundancies in Northern Ireland. The meeting was a second one with councillors and followed a meeting with political representatives from Ards and North Down council.

“Unite shop stewards provided visiting councillors with detailed information on the compulsory redundancies being sought by Bombardier corporate management as part of a cull of 5,000 jobs globally which was announced last September. The reps made the point to councillors that in 2011, Bombardier employed more than eleven thousand workers in Northern Ireland; in 2014, this figure had dropped to 7,100 and after the current round of redundancies – 490 in Northern Ireland – this will stand at 3,600. That means in eight years the Bombardier workforce has fallen to one-third of what it was”, Ms Fitzgerald said. Continue reading

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Bombardier bosses must remove threat of compulsory redundancies hanging over Northern Ireland workforce

crowd5.jpgUp to a hundred compulsory redundancies planned despite large numbers having their applications for voluntary redundancy rejected

Workforce are questioning why Northern Ireland sites are facing the threat of compulsory redundancy while in Canada workers are being ‘reclassified’ rather than let go.

March 10th: Susan Fitzgerald, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer responsible for her union’s membership at Bombardier challenged the company’s global corporate management over their destructive approach to enforcing redundancies across the workforce.

“Unite representatives have engaged with Bombardier management in an effort to seek to mitigate last September’s announcement by corporate bosses of 490 redundancies in Northern Ireland. While we are opposed to the loss of any jobs, it is crazy to force workers out the door when others for various reasons are looking to go, there is no basis to compulsory redundancies. Continue reading

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National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity to get serious about decent training for young workers and our economy

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Jackie Pollock, Unite Regional Secretary

Apprenticeship levy has not worked in Northern Ireland, we need a return to an employment-led, partnership approach to skills

Young workers must receive decent pay and conditions from day one in a workplace apprenticeship with a firm expectation of a job at the end

March 4th: Jackie Pollock, Unite Regional Secretary for Ireland, used the start of National Apprenticeship Week to demand a new approach to providing work-based training for young people and our economy.

“Apprenticeships are vital for the future success of Northern Ireland’s economy, in particular that of our manufacturing sector. Figures released last week by the Department for Economy demonstrate that despite major job-loss announcements, manufacturing here continues to grow rapidly. Output from Manufacturing grew at 6.6 percent in the last twelve months, with overall employment in the sector increasing to 86,160 – the highest it has been in more than a decade. Continue reading

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Welcome for decision by Armagh City, Banbridge, Craigavon Borough Council to keep new Craigavon leisure centre in-house

ABC protest 2

Decision by council reverses earlier decision to outsource leisure services and reflects widespread public opposition to move

Unions will remain on guard to ensure that leisure services at Craigavon remain in-house going forward

February 26th: There was jubilation among workers in Unite, GMB and NIPSA late last night as they heard reports that Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough councillors voted to overturn a previous recommendation to outsource the new Craigavon Leisure centre. Gareth Scott, Regional Officer for Unite welcomed the decision by councillors and thanked those parties and individuals who had supported the in-house delivery model from the start.

“All three workforce unions, Unite, GMB and NIPSA, at ABC council came together to build an unstoppable campaign to demand the new Craigavon Lakes leisure centre remain under council management and not be outsourced to a private or CoCo management company.

“The experience in other parts of Northern Ireland where leisure services have been outsourced has been uniformly bad. It’s only months since leisure services in Magherafelt had to be taken back in-house at great cost to the ratepayer due to the negative experience of outsourcing there. In Belfast, where leisure centres are outsourced to Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), Unite has exposed a string of health & safety breaches, highlighted how GLL has created a two-tier workforce to undermine workers’ pay and conditions and imposed huge price hikes which have excluded low-income users.

 “Last night’s ABC council meeting overturned the Leisure committee’s recommendation to outsource management of the new Craigavon facility. This represents a convincing victory for the workforce who mobilised against this decision and the huge numbers in the local community who raised concerns. Unite would like to thank those parties and individual councillors who from the start supported the in-house model but we also welcome the fact that one of the two parties who had previously voted for outsourcing decided to reverse that stance and act in the best interests of everyone concerned.

“This vote will ensure that the new leisure centre will operate in-house for its first year of operation. All unions must remain focussed on ensuring that there is no backtracking on this commitment and that the new leisure centre remains under council management thereafter. Our local public services must remain fully democratically-accountable; there should be no diminution of either the status of workers or decisions that put generating surpluses above the needs of service users.

“This is a victory for common-sense delivered thanks to all our members and shop stewards and those of our partner unions, the GMB and NIPSA. For Unite, this decision puts centre-stage the demand that Belfast City Council reverse its decision to outsource leisure services and take all municipal leisure facilities back into direct management and subject to democratic control”, Mr Scott concluded.

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Welcome for announcement that Loganair will take on City of Derry airport contract for London flights

Gareth Scott

Gareth Scott, Unite Regional Officer

Management must now seek to build on this success to further develop City of Derry as a regional airhub

Speaking on behalf of his union’s members in City of Derry airport, Gareth Scott, Regional Officer for Unite welcomed confirmation that Loganair airline would be taking on the Stansted route from the airport from BMI Regional (FlyBMI), which previously operated the Derry to London service.

“This evening’s announcement came after workers left City of Derry early today but will be a huge relief to those who feared for their jobs as a consequence of the fact that BMI Regional (FlyBMI) had gone into administration over the weekend. The Stansted service is central to the long-term viability of the City of Derry airport.

“Given the fact that an airline has agreed to take on the Derry-Stanstead route and the confirmation that its PSO status will be extended to 2021, this represents a tremendous platform for future growth. This provides the perfect spring-board for City of Derry to seek additional flights into the airport and securing its place as a leading regional air-hub. This is good news for Derry/Londonderry and for the northwest in particular”, Mr Scott concluded.

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