Spirit Aero systems acquisition of Bombardier operations is a vote of confidence for Northern Ireland’s Aerospace sector

Stormont and Westminster government must now follow through with a robust package to safeguard all aerospace jobs

Jackie Pollock, Regional Secretary of Unite, welcomed the news that the sale of Bombardier operations to Spirit Aero systems will proceed, securing jobs and skills in Northern Ireland.

“Today’s announcement confirms the acquisition of Bombardier aero-structure operations by Spirit Aero systems, a world leader in first-tier aero-structure manufacturing. This is positive news and will safeguard jobs as well as vital economic output and demand. It represents a vote of confidence in Northern Ireland’s aerospace sector.

Steve Turner, Assistant General Secretary of Unite, commented on today’s news and called on Stormont and Westminster to follow it up with a robust long-term support package to safeguard all aerospace jobs.

“This is a hugely difficult time for our members in aerospace, the sector alone in Northern Ireland has suffered a contraction of 1800 jobs over the last number of months through a series of redundancies. 

“Unite working with our reps and members have played an important role in making this sure this deal happened. To finally receive confirmation of this sale will therefore bring some relief to workers at Bombardier and indeed across the broader aerospace sector. This news shows that there is a future for Aerospace – one that is rooted in the incredible skills-base of these workers.”

Northern Ireland’s aerospace cluster comprises 220 companies employing around 10,000 people. The sector directly generates £1bn in output (gross value-added) annually and contributes more than £2bn to Northern Ireland’s entire manufacturing output. “It is vital that we see follow-on intervention by the Stormont Executive and Westminster; that must mean a robust long-term package of support similar to what the French and German governments have done to safeguard all aerospace jobs, and the pay and conditions that workers and their families rely on. To not do so puts workers and business here at a competitive disadvantage”, Steve Turner concluded.

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