Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly will raise demand for action by UK government to safeguard 4,000 jobs at Bombardier
Union will highlight need for an activist industrial strategy for Northern Ireland to defend workers from impact of protectionist ‘America First’ policies
November 22nd: Jimmy Kelly, Ireland Secretary for Unite will be accompanied by two of his union’s senior workforce reps at Bombardier, Noel Gibson and George Burnside, as well as Regional Industrial officer, Susan Fitzgerald, in a delegation providing evidence on the threat to jobs to the Northern Ireland Select Committee in Westminster today.
The Unite delegation will address a series of questions raised by parliamentarians in regard to the scale and impact of a potential site closure that could result in four thousand job losses at Bombardier. Speaking ahead of the session, Mr Kelly said:
“This hearing is an opportunity for representatives of the workforce and their trade union, Unite, to put on record our concerns for the Bombardier workforce as a result of the punitive 300% tariffs threatened to be levied on the company’s C Series aircraft by the protectionist Trump administration.
“Despite the recent acquisition of a majority stake in the C Series by Airbus in the last month, the threat to jobs remains as there is as yet no indication that the tariffs will be lifted. Since more than 60% of the company’s workforce will depend on C Series production for their employment in three years’ time, there are genuine concerns that tariffs on this scale, on the largest market in the world will prejudice the future of Bombardier in Northern Ireland.
“These import-duties have been raised as a result of the meritless case taken by Boeing claiming state-aid had led to Bombardier enjoying an unfair advantage, one that enabled them to win a recent contract for the delivery of aircraft to Delta airlines. The truth is that all aerospace companies receive support from their own governments and that Boeing didn’t even compete for the deal and suffered no loss as a result.
“It is vital that the UK government act to defend these jobs. Boeing has currently £4.6 billion worth of contracts with the government – indeed the UK is the corporation’s second biggest client globally – with an estimated additional spend of £1.5 billion with the company each year – there is more than enough leverage to end their bully-boy approach threatening so many jobs in Northern Ireland”, Mr Kelly concluded.