Union makes call as Bombardier management confirms 1,080 job-losses initially planned over two years will be delivered in current year
Davy Thompson, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer responded to confirmation Bombardier management would seek to deliver an originally planned two-year redundancy over one year by demanding that the UK Government provide Globalisation Adjustment funding for affected workers:
“Bombardier’s announcement will mean that all 1,080 redundancies planned over a two year period will now happen in the first year; two hundred more workers will receive redundancy in the coming months.
“This decision has been made against a backdrop where the company’s corporate management are seeking an additional 7,500 job-losses globally. While we are disappointed at the news we recognise that it reflects the desire of local management to sustain more operations in Belfast for the long-term.
“Unite will continue working with management with the aim of securing jobs and defending terms and conditions”, Mr Thompson continued.
Turning to his union’s demand that the UK government provide Globalisation Adjustment funding, Mr Thompson said:
“We are calling on the UK government to provide additional support for those affected. Elsewhere in Europe, workforces impacted by redundancy decisions affecting more than 500 workers are eligible to draw down funding for retraining, reskilling and local economic development from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).
“In the eight years to the end of 2014, 561 million euro was drawn down for 134 applications under this fund but the UK government has never drawn down a penny. The government claims that the fund does not represent good ‘value-for-money’ and that making an application might threaten the UK’s rebate.
“Unite representatives met with the Shadow Secretary of State, Dave Anderson, to raise this issue and he has assured us of his support. We have written requesting a meeting with the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire MP, but as yet we are still waiting acknowledgement of our letter.
“In the absence of EGF funding, we are calling on the HM Treasury to provide substitute funding on a pound-for-pound basis. There is no excuse why workers affected by large-scale redundancies in Belfast cannot benefit from the same levels of support for training and reskilling as those in Dublin”, Mr Thompson concluded.