Time for NI Executive to ‘get serious’ in supporting Manufacturing in Northern Ireland
February 17th: Responding to reports that Bombardier plan to shed 130 production jobs within its ‘complementary labour force’, Davy Thompson, Regional Coordinating Officer for Unite warned that this underlined the need for the NI Executive to re-assess its current approach to supporting Manufacturing.
“This is another savage blow to the workforce at Bombardier-Shorts coming within six months of the loss of 390 jobs in September of last year. Unite is disappointed by the scale of job-losses associated with this announcement but we are committed to securing the very best possible terms for all our members affected by this decision.
“This announcement highlights the inadequacy of existing employment protection, in particular for that afforded to agency workers who are making up more and more of the overall Northern Ireland labour force. There’s a need for Stormont politicians to get serious on action to improve job security protections for workers, particularly within the manufacturing sector where there is a real risk of ‘de-skilling’.
“The cumulative impact of these job losses and those at other manufacturers such as JTI in Ballymena and Caterpillar (FG Wilson) represent a huge blow to the Northern Ireland economy and will inevitably lead to more joblessness through reducing overall spending. Since 2008, output from Northern Ireland’s manufacturing sector has shrunk meaning that many of those highly skilled workers who will lose their jobs will struggle to find employment. This decision reinforces the need for the NI Executive to initiate a substantial and wider economic investment strategy to address the range of serious economic challenges we face”, Mr Thompson concluded.