Workers from across Bombardier’s five production sites in Northern Ireland will gather this evening at Belfast city hall ahead of a vote on a motion seeking support for the union’s #backBombardierjobs campaign. A delegation of three workplace reps will address councillors ahead of the debate.
The motion commits the council to write to the Prime Minister to use her government’s leverage on Boeing to demand it drops the threat to Northern Ireland jobs, and to write to the EU Trade Commissioner to demand he seek to overturn the tariff through immediately escalating the case to the World Trade Organisation.
Belfast City Council is home to 1,200 Bombardier employees and the company has two sites on Queen’s island at which approximately 2,000 work, one of which is purpose-built to manufacture wings for the C Series. Unite has expressed its concern that the US Commerce Department’s proposal to impose a 300% surcharge on the company’s C Series aircraft, which were taken on-foot of Boeing allegations of unfair competition, poses a threat to the entirety of its workforce in Northern Ireland.
The #backBombardierjobs campaign action comes ahead of the US Department of Commerce issuing its final determination on the surcharge, which is expected to be made public on Tuesday December 19th. The US International Trade Commission will decides whether to ratify the tariffs on February 1st 2018 – a week before they will come into effect.
Belfast City council is now the fifth council to vote on this motion – with the previous four councils: Ards & North Down, Mid- & East-Antrim, Antrim & Newtownabbey and Lisburn & Castlereagh City councils having all endorsing the motion.
Members of the workforce will be present to talk to the media about their concerns and the importance of the #backBombardierjobs campaign from 5.45pm.