Guarantees sought from Bombardier for its CRJ workforce in Northern Ireland after Mitsubishi sale announcement

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Workforce will be angered that sale was announced without any recourse to trade unions or even management in Belfast

Sale opens door to new markets for Mitsubishi but raises concerns for long-term security of approximately 350 jobs

Susan Fitzgerald, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer challenged Bombardier’s global corporate management to provide guarantees to their workforce as news of the sell-off of the company’s Canadian Regional Jet to Mitsubishi broke.

“Today’s announcement that Mitsubishi will acquire Bombardier’s Canadian Regional Jet (CRJ) for $550 million plunges the Bombardier workforce in Northern Ireland into uncertainty and concern. While both Bombardier corporate management and Mitsubishi have been talking up the possible benefits of such a deal to the markets for weeks now, no assurances have been provided to Bombardier workers in Northern Ireland.

“What is more, the fact that no one in the Northern Ireland operations was informed about this by Bombardier global corporate management will result in a wave of anger and concern among the workforce.

“Mitsubishi’s own Regional Jet does not have the necessary accreditation to sell into all markets globally so the acquisition should be viewed as a mechanism for the Japanese company to get a foothold in these. Despite the huge skills base among the workforce in Northern Ireland, there are grounds for concern about the long-term security of the approximately 350 jobs sustained by this work in Northern Ireland – at worst, this sale might simply be a case of Mitsubishi buying up a competitor to increase market share.

“Unite are calling on Bombardier to guarantee this sale will be tied to a cast-iron commitment to the livelihoods of those employed in CRJ production and, as we have previously called for,  the UK government must be proactive in defence of these vital jobs and skills. Unite will be meeting our team of shop stewards and with our colleagues in the GMB to coordinate our response to this latest threat”, Ms Fitzgerald concluded.

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