BBC Spotlight revelations show there is no ‘confidence and supply’ for workforce faced with 292 per cent import duty threat
UK business minister offers excuses for months of delay in sending a meagre four page government submission
January 24th: Jackie Pollock, Ireland Secretary for Unite expressed his union’s anger at revelations that the UK government had failed to provide any effective representation for the beleaguered workforce at Bombardier sites across Northern Ireland:
“Tonight’s broadcast raised a welter of concerning revelations. For weeks we have been calling out the lack of urgency from prime minister Theresa May on this issue and the threat it poses to tens of thousands of workers in the UK and Ireland. We have repeatedly demanded she fly to Washington to raise the jobs threat directly with the US president, but so far all that has been done has been two phone calls.
“Sadly we now learn that the business secretary Greg Clark only made a meagre four-page submission in support of the workers and that this was only received on 12 December – two months after he assured parliament that it had been provided.
“In the light of these revelations the Bombardier workforce will be left feeling angered and betrayed by the conduct of the UK government. We have to ask where is the ‘confidence and supply’ for the workforce.
“Unite representatives have met with the DUP repeatedly on this issue. We recognise that they are genuinely concerned about the threat to jobs, but we have to ask them what confidence they have in the promises and assurances that have been supplied to them by the government.
“After tonight they must put the workforce of Bombardier first in Westminster; the only thing to satisfy our members will be real delivery from the UK government.”
Susan Fitzgerald, Unite Regional Officer for the union’s membership at Bombardier in Northern Ireland called on workers to rally in response to the bitter disappointment they would feel after the broadcast:
“It’s unconscionable that workers face the prospect of being collateral damage in a global trade war instigated by Boeing.
“It is now abundantly clear that we cannot rely on politicians to stand up for us. We have to stand for ourselves. We won’t allow the understandable sense of betrayal and bitter disappointment to undermine our determination to save jobs.
“Should the US International Trade Commission decision put our members’ jobs at risk, then this government better be ready for a hell of a fight from our Union. We’ll be demanding action and whatever measures necessary to guarantee the jobs and skills. This is not only vital for the workforce of Bombardier but the wider economy of Northern Ireland.”