Bombardier to cut almost 100 jobs in Belfast

Aerospace group has ‘reviewed manpower requirements’ in Northern Ireland

Job cuts: Bombardier says it has “reviewed manpower requirements” in Belfast and intends to make 95 functional support staff   redundant. Photograph: Getty

Job cuts: Bombardier says it has “reviewed manpower requirements” in Belfast and intends to make 95 functional support staff redundant. Photograph: Getty

 

Bombardier Aerospace is to axe nearly 100 jobs in Northern Ireland from its core workforce.

The Canadian group said it had “reviewed manpower requirements” in Belfast and intended to make 95 functional support staff – including managers and professional staff – redundant.

Union leaders have described the job losses as “another blow” to its Belfast workforce which are extremely concerned about their future because of Bombardier’s current dispute with Boeing in the United States.

Boeing accused Bombardier of selling its CSeries aircraft in the US below production costs which sparked an anti-dumping and anti-subsidies investigation by the US Department of Commerce. Bombardier has refuted Boeing’s allegations.

The British prime minister and both the DUP and Sinn Féin party leaders have intervened to warn the US president and vice-president that the Boeing case has the potential to threaten thousands of jobs at Bombardier’s Northern Ireland operations.

The trade union Unite estimates that Bombardier’s total payroll in the North is worth about £400 million to the local economy every year.

Strategy

According to Bombardier the 95 job cuts are unconnected to the Boeing dispute and are part of the aerospace giant’s strategy, announced last October, to reduce its global workforce by 7,500 people.

Bombardier Belfast said the latest redundancies are being made to “cut costs and improve the efficiency of our operations to help ensure our long-term competitiveness”.

In recent years the aerospace group has axed about 20 per cent of its workforce – 1,080 jobs – in the North.

Union leaders have said they do not buy into Bombardier’s reasons for axing the latest core jobs.

Davy Thompson, Unite regional coordinating officer said: “The rationale offered by management is that this has been brought about by the outsourcing of IT and the need to reduce staff in functional areas. We do not agree with their case and we are calling on them to lift the threat of redundancies at this time.”