Union leaders to consult at Bombardier’s Belfast plant

Workforce had voted on whether to accept significant ‘cost-reduction’ proposals

Bombardier’s C Series 100 aircraft: airline has warned its 5,500-strong Belfast workforce that the proposals are necessary to ensure the facility remains “competitive” within the Bombardier family and in the aerospace sector. Photographer: Patrick Doyle/Bloomberg

Bombardier’s C Series 100 aircraft: airline has warned its 5,500-strong Belfast workforce that the proposals are necessary to ensure the facility remains “competitive” within the Bombardier family and in the aerospace sector. Photographer: Patrick Doyle/Bloomberg

 

Union leaders in the North are to consult with members at Bombardier’s Belfast plant before releasing the results of a ballot to decide if the workforce will accept significant “cost-reduction” proposals put forward by the Canadian aerospace group.

Bombardier has warned its 5,500-strong Belfast workforce that the proposals are necessary to ensure the facility remains “competitive” within the Bombardier family and in the aerospace sector.

The deal on the table from Bombardier to its Belfast workforce includes a new three-year wage agreement, reduced shift premiums, a one-hour extension to the current 36-hour working week and a reduction in overtime.

In October the Canadian group was forced to ask the Quebec government for financial help totalling US$1 billion after running into repeated problems with its troubled new CSeries aircraft programme.

However, in an interview with Bloomberg, Michael Ryan, the vice-president and general manager of Bombardier Belfast, said the Belfast plant’s ability to deliver pioneering and advanced components ensured it could move up the “value chain” and guarantee its future.