Up to a hundred compulsory redundancies are planned at Bombardier in Northern Ireland despite large numbers having their applications for voluntary redundancy rejected, Unite has highlighted.
The workforce are now questioning why Northern Ireland sites are facing the threat of compulsory redundancy while in Canada workers are being ‘reclassified’ rather than let go.
Susan Fitzgerald, Unite regional coordinating officer responsible for her union’s membership at Bombardier, challenged the company’s global corporate management over their destructive approach to enforcing redundancies across the workforce.
“Unite representatives have engaged with Bombardier management in an effort to seek to mitigate last September’s announcement by corporate bosses of 490 redundancies in Northern Ireland,” she said. “While we are opposed to the loss of any jobs, it is crazy to force workers out the door when others for various reasons are looking to go, there is no basis to compulsory redundancies.
“Last week management chose to reject the shop stewards’ representations and have initiated plans for between twenty and thirty compulsory redundancies across functions and other areas,” Fitzgerald added. “The company are now raising the prospect of up to one hundred additional compulsory redundancies across roles at Northern Ireland sites.
“The refusal by corporate management to provide the upskilling and training necessary for workers to transition between roles and avoid compulsory redundancies is reflective of a wider failure to properly resource their Northern Ireland sites.
“Employees here are now the only ones facing the threat of compulsory redundancies, while the remainder of the five thousand job losses announced globally have yet to be delivered or have been entirely mitigated through voluntary redundancies and other transfers,” she went on to say.
“Bombardiers’ workforce in Northern Ireland now stands at just over 3,600, the lowest it has ever been, with just over one hundred of those indirect or agency workers. Five years ago it was almost twice that number. The company’s global management team must show their Northern Ireland employees that they mean more than the insatiable demands of corporate investors. They must make real their promises of future substantial employment growth – key to that must be investment in workers’ skills for a future.”