Unite is seeking immediate assurances over UK jobs after Bombardier announced today (November 8) that it would be slashing up to 5,000 jobs globally.
The Canadian plane and train manufacturer, which employs 4,000 people in five sites in Northern Ireland and 1,600 people in Derby, has not yet indicated where the cuts will be made. It is understood that the majority of the cuts will be made in Canada.
Unite has condemned the jobs cuts against a backdrop of the company doubling its pre-tax profits to $267m for the three months to September compared to the same period in 2017.
Unite regional co-ordinating officer Susan Fitzgerald called the announcement “a brutal blow to their global workforce and will affect workers in both aerospace and transport divisions.
“Unite has sought assurances that none of these jobs will be going at any of the five sites here in Northern Ireland – as yet, we have no confirmation of what it this latest announcement will mean locally,” she said. “Bombardier’s corporate management have also announced plans to sell off its turboprop programme and its business aircraft flight and training activities.
“These jobs are to go despite the fact that the company is making even more profits than they were a year ago; this fire sale of assets and jobs is being driven by meet the expectations of the financial markets and Bombardier’s workers are expected to pay the price,” Fitzgerald added. “Unite will be engaging with our colleagues representing Bombardier workers under threat in other countries in order to coordinate a global trade union response to this latest announcement.
She highlighted that aerospace manufacturing is among the most significant sectors in the economy.
“It is estimated in the UK that for every £1 million pounds of output from the sector, 2.5 million pounds is generated in the economy while for every job in transport manufacturing a further one and a half jobs are sustained,” she noted.
“In the last weeks, a majority of Bombardier’s workers in Northern Ireland signed a collective grievance against this death by a thousand cuts. We cannot accept any further losses of functions from Northern Ireland, they are undermining the long-term sustainability of the company’s presence here.”
Unite is also seeking an urgent meeting with senior management at the company’s Derby train building factory.
“On behalf of our members at Derby, Unite will be seeking an urgent meeting to fully understand the details behind the proposed job losses and how this will affect our members at Derby and in the wider supply chain,” said Unite East Midland regional secretary Parish Patel.
“The factory in Derby is highly successful and has secured a number of significant new orders in recent months.
“The Derby train factory is a world class facility and employs a highly skilled and dedicated workplace. Cuts in jobs would be extremely short-sighted.”