Following meeting with Secretary of State, Unite Regional Secretary states that Boeing case is without merit as they did not suffer any loss from Delta Airlines deal
Union demands government intervene to defend UK workers against US protectionist barriers
September 26th: Jimmy Kelly, Unite Regional Secretary, expressed his union’s acute disappointment following the decision of the United States Department of Commerce that recommended punitive tariffs be imposed on Bombardier’s CSeries as result of a case taken by Boeing alleging anti-competitive pricing.
Earlier in the day Unite representatives had met with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, at the union’s Belfast Regional offices to discuss their concerns and press him for a more robust response on the issue.
Following the meeting Jimmy Kelly said, “The decision taken by the US Department of Commerce was not unexpected – unfortunately it is unlikely to be overturned by President Trump whose protectionist tendencies are well-known. The threat of punitive tariffs on the CSeries will cast a shadow over Bombardier’s future unless the company can source alternative and substantial sales outside the US market.
“Today’s decision in favour of Boeing’s allegations of anti-competitive pricing poses a direct and very serious threat to the 4,500 Bombardier jobs in Belfast and many more dependent on them across our service sector and in the wider supply chain. This would cause serious damage to our economy and to our society – which needs a robust economy to underpin our society’s continued political progress and the path to reconciliation.
“Despite this ruling, Boeing’s case is without merit – they suffered no detriment from Bombardier’s success in winning the Delta order. Unite is supportive of the Bombardier defence and we are determined to ensuring no fall out in regard to the jobs of our members.
“Boeing is highly exposed to action by the UK government – which constitutes its second biggest client globally. As such we welcome today’s statement by the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, which stood over the legality of the support provided both on a UK level and by the Northern Ireland Executive. The government must continue defend its ability to invest in vital manufacturing sectors and to defend UK workers.
“Despite this blow, the Bombardier jobs can still be safeguarded. The UK government must now intervene to secure orders from British carriers for Bombardier aircraft – they should also immediately review all contracts with Boeing. If other countries are going to erect protectionist barriers to UK companies, our government needs to be proactive in response”, Mr Kelly concluded.