Unite to continue active schedule of meetings with political and trade union leaders in pursuit of resolution to threat hanging over Belfast jobs
September 19th: Jimmy Kelly, Unite Regional Secretary, criticised the response of both the Prime Minister to the threat hanging over thousands of jobs at Bombardier in Belfast and reiterated
“Boeing’s legal case alleging that Bombardier has used state-aid to subsidise anti-competitive pricing poses a serious threat to Northern Ireland’s industrial base. In addition to the 4,500 workers directly employed by Bombardier in Belfast, this case threatens tens of thousands of jobs in the broader economy, both in the services sector sustained by the workforce’s wage bill of £400 million a year and in the hundreds of companies who form part of its extended supply network.
“As such, this is the most pressing issue facing our political leaders today. We need resolute action to avoid the impact that punitive tariffs would have on the company and by extension the workforce; and we need that action urgently.
“Unite is therefore very disappointed not to have heard Prime Minister Theresa May deliver a clear message to a very worried public that this is a priority concern for the UK government too. The UK is the second largest purchaser of Boeing products – we urge the UK prime minister to use the huge leverage she has here.
“Yesterday’s summit with Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada offered a perfect opportunity to send a strong warning to Boeing; why was it squandered?
In stark contrast the Canadian premier signalled his intent to review plans to procure Boeing’s Super-Hornet if the corporation continued to threaten the jobs of Canadian aerospace workers.
“Boeing needs to understand that the UK government will not stand idly by while their attempts at corporate bullying destroy our industrial base.
“In the absence of such a determined course, Unite will continue our schedule of meetings with political leaders both locally and nationally. We urge the UK government to act accordingly and urge that the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire MP, wastes no further time in accepting over our request for a meeting with him on this issue”, Mr Kelly finished.