Management must work with union to mitigate impact of latest Bombardier jobs blow

Unite 041Plans for ninety-five redundancies in core workforce confirmed

Separately, Unite meet DUP leader, Arlene Foster, to seek to leverage Boeing over its legal threat to Bombardier’s CSeries

September 15th: Davy Thompson, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer, responded to news that Bombardier would be seeking ninety-five redundancies among the workforce.

“We are very disappointed with this news. This is another blow to the Bombardier workforce in Belfast and comes in the wake of wider concerns over the ongoing trade dispute with Boeing. The rationale offered by management is that this has been brought about by the outsourcing of IT and the need to reduce staff in functional areas. We do not agree with their case and we are calling on them to lift the threat of redundancies at this time”, Mr Thompson said.

In a separate development, Unite confirmed that they had a very positive meeting with Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, at Stormont yesterday [Thursday, September 14th]. The meeting focussed on how her party could ensure that Theresa May’s Conservative government would maximise pressure on Boeing to withdraw their case which is based on allegations of inappropriate state-aid – a decision that poses a serious threat to the future of Bombardier. Mr Thompson continued:

“At the onset of this threat, Unite wrote to seek urgent meetings with representatives of both leading political parties here, the Secretary and Shadow Secretary of State, the Irish Foreign Minister and representatives of the United States government in both jurisdictions on this island. We want to ensure unanimity in relation to the message going out to the American government and to Boeing in particular that this case needs to be resolved sensibly so as to avoid damaging consequences all round.

“The UK is the second biggest client for Boeing globally and Unite believes that these contracts should now be reviewed due to the hostile attitude taken by Boeing in this matter and the precarious situation in which this has put the Northern Ireland sector.

“The jobs at Bombardier are strategically vital for Northern Ireland. The total payroll associated with the workforce contributes approximately £400 million every year to the economy, sustaining many thousands more jobs, and hundreds of companies including in the Republic of Ireland are dependent on the company’s procurement budget for their success. Mrs Foster indicated to us that the DUP will seek to use their influence fully in regard to this matter”, Mr Thompson concluded.

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