Unions at Bombardier to consult membership on industrial action as company’s global management announce latest redundancies blow in Northern Ireland

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Bombardier announces a further 30-35 compulsory redundancies as part of jobs cull only a day after announcing up to forty voluntary redundancies

In response to workforce concerns, a consultative ballot of workforce on strike action has been agreed by Unite and GMB union reps to commence Monday April 29th.

April 9th: Susan Fitzgerald, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer responsible for her union’s members in Bombardier, challenged the company’s Montreal-based corporate management over their most recent job-losses announcement.

“Today’s announcement is only the latest instalment in a series of job losses at Bombardier operations in Northern Ireland. Workers across the sites reacted with sadness and indignation to the news that management are to seek a further between thirty and thirty-five compulsory redundancies in order to deliver their target of 490 job losses – part of a global jobs cull of 5,000 to slash $250 million from operating costs. The latest jobs blow comes only a day after the company confirmed up to forty voluntary redundancies; taken in conjunction with previous redundancies under the current round of jobs cuts and following years of large-scale workforce reductions, this marks a nadir for Bombardier’s employment in Northern Ireland.

“The unions and our members are not going to sit back and watch as another leading Northern Ireland manufacturer suffers death by a thousand cuts in the interests of profit-maximisation and the endless attempts to satisfy the greed of bond-holders. Unite and GMB shop stewards have come together to agree the conduct of a consultative ballot on industrial action, up to and including strike action, to commence Monday April 29th.

“Bombardier’s global management in Montreal appear to be intent on driving forward a disinvestment strategy leaving many in the workforce questioning whether there’s any room in that vision for their sites in Northern Ireland. The unions have come together to challenge the company to come clean on their future plans for Northern Ireland and to ‘open their books’ on the underlying plans they have to address the financial demands of bondholders.

“Bombardier’s employment in Northern Ireland has halved since 2014. We cannot sit back and watch as Bombardier goes the same way as Belfast shipbuilding, with jobs cuts ongoing until the very sustainability of operations is at risk.

“The unions are issuing a wake-up call to Bombardier’s management in Montreal. This workforce will not go down easily. This workforce has key skills covering R&D, right through to design and production, if this is lost it won’t be replaced. Cutting back on jobs and skills in Northern Ireland is not a strategy for growth however the financial markets may view it – instead of cutting back, Bombardier bosses must invest and bring back employment to Northern Ireland”, Ms Fitzgerald said.

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