Union delegation in Canada and US over threat to Bombardier jobs
Unite hoping to appeal to US commerce department to reconsider tariffs on aircraft
Workers and supporters from Belfast Bombardier plants highlighting the proposed US tariffs in London. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images
Trade union leaders and Bombardier workers from Belfast are taking their campaign to safeguard jobs in the North threatened by potential new America trade tariffs to Canada and the US next week.
The US department of commerce wants to impose trade tariffs totalling 300 per cent on every Bombardier C Series jet sold in the US following a complaint from its rival Boeing that Bombardier had infringed US trade laws.
Unite believes the proposed new US trade tariffs against Bombardier’s C Series aircraft are unfounded, and could seriously threaten the future of the Canadian group’s Belfast operations.
The commerce department is expected to publish its final decision on the proposed tariffs on December 19th.
The Unite delegation is expected to arrive in Montreal on Sunday in advance of meetings with Bombardier’s chief executive Alain Bellemare, senior Canadian politicians and also Canadian trade union officials who are similarly fighting to safeguard jobs.
The delegation will then travel to Washington DC to lobby influential US politicians and also EU ambassadors, including both the Irish and British ambassadors, to lend their support to Bombardier workers in Belfast.
Unite also hopes to directly appeal to the commerce department to reconsider the proposed tariffs.
Steve Turner, Unite assistant general secretary, is leading the delegation, and has warned that it is “crucial” that the threat of new tariffs is removed.
“Boeing does not produce an aircraft in the same class as Bombardier’s C Series, and didn’t even bid for the Delta contract it is complaining about, which leaves its complaint totally without merit.
“If the US government imposes tariffs and Boeing’s bullying wins the day, it will damage Bombardier and destroy UK jobs. It will also threaten thousands of jobs in Bombardier and its supply chain in the USA.”