The government, DUP and Sinn Fein must step up to defend right to invest in vital manufacturing sector and fully use their leverage to defend Belfast jobs
September 18th: Unite the union’s General Secretary Len McCluskey added his support to Bombardier’s Belfast workforce:
“Unite’s focus throughout this has been to stand on the side of the workers threatened by Boeing’s predatory behaviour. At base it is ordinary workers who risk being the collateral damage in what is an increasingly dirty row between two giant corporations over market share.
“My union stands in full solidarity with the workforce in Belfast. Personally I will be contacting our sister unions in Canada to ask for their assistance in pressing Boeing to meet with the Canadian government on these very serious matters”, Mr McCluskey said.
Jimmy Kelly, Unite Regional Secretary for Ireland, called on politicians in Belfast and London to rigorously defend the right of government bodies to provide support to local manufacturers:
“Boeing has sought to portray the loan support provided by the UK government as illegal state-aid and anti-competitive. Unite is calling for a clear message to go out from all sides of government that the support to Bombardier was entirely legal and appropriate.
“That means that both the UK and the Canadian governments have to be more proactive with Boeing.
“While we welcome the joint communication on this matter issued by the DUP and Sinn Fein we need them to extend this to defend the support provided to Bombardier during their time in the last Executive together.
“Unite is further calling on the DUP and Sinn Fein to make the most of their leverage and extensive networks of support globally to defend the Bombardier jobs in Belfast.
“The DUP have a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement with the Tory government – at the very least that government should now move to review existing Boeing contracts in light of their destructive behaviour.
“Sinn Fein has influence on Capitol Hill – the US politicians must be shown the impact an adverse decision by the Department of Commerce would have on the Northern Ireland economy, an economy which continues to struggle with the legacy of conflict, underinvestment and dislocation as well as the potential threats arising from Brexit”, Mr Kelly finished.