A deputation of Bombardier workers will be flying from Belfast on Wednesday (October 11) to meet with MPs at the House of Commons and press the government into action to defend jobs, skills and communities and stand up to Boeing.
Unveiling a giant banner outside parliament urging MPs from all parties to defend Bombardier jobs, the workers will be calling on prime minister Theresa May to summon Boeing to a summit with the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and workforce representatives.
Wednesday’s deputation, on behalf of Northern Ireland’s 4,500 Bombardier workers, comes amid accusations that the UK government is continuing to sit on its hands over the Bombardier crisis. The US department of commerce slapped a further 80 per cent tariff on Bombardier’s C-series passenger jets on Friday (October 6), taking the total amount of tariffs to 300 per cent.
The tariffs follow a complaint by Boeing to the US authorities over unfair competition regarding the sale of Bombardier’s C-series passenger jet. It is a complaint that has been dismissed by Unite and politicians as ‘without merit’ because Boeing does not make a plane comparable to Bombardier’s C-series, and did not even bid for the work to supply Delta Airlines that it is now claiming was won unfairly.
“The British government has a duty to defend UK manufacturing jobs against the bullying behaviour of Boeing,” said Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner.
“A failure to do so will signal that any ambition ministers have for a coherent industrial strategy is effectively in tatters and that they are happy to put Trump’s ‘America First’ policy ahead of UK manufacturing jobs.
“Boeing’s case is without merit, a fact that prime minster Theresa May has herself admitted,” he added. “Theresa May and her government need to be battling for Northern Ireland’s Bombardier workforce which makes some of the most technologically advanced wings in the world.
“The UK government must heed the call of Bombardier’s Northern Ireland workers and summon Boeing to an urgent summit involving prime minister Theresa May and the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and trade unions.
“Ministers should leave Boeing in no doubt that a failure to do so will lead to sanctions on current and future work on behalf of the UK government.”
Stay tuned on UNITElive as we report from Parliament tomorrow (October 11).