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155 Bombardier workers to be told jobs axed in Northern Ireland

By John Mulgrew

Published 19/05/2016

Bombardier in east Belfast
Bombardier in east Belfast
Bombardier chief: Alain Bellemare

Hundreds of workers will find out today whether they will be among the latest 155 staff to be let go by Bombardier.

The aerospace manufacturer is to cut 1,080 jobs from its Belfast workforce by 2017, with around 630 of those expected to go this year.

A document shown to the Belfast Telegraph reveals that a total of 51 'banded engineers' will be made redundant, along with 12 'quality' roles, six in support, and 60 shopfloor positions.

A further 26 managerial positions will also go.

Bombardier has written to staff to say 'risk letters' will be issued today and Friday.

It says a formal meeting with the workers will be held next week, while a notice period starts on May 27.

And employees who accept the redundancy package on offer, a so-called '59/40' deal alongside 26 weeks pay, will leave the company as early as June 3.

Last month Bombardier told staff it was cutting a further 50 staff this year, bringing the job losses to 630 for 2016.

It's understood around 300 posts have already gone across the Belfast operation. Those posts include contractors and casual workers.

A letter sent to staff has broken down in detail the job losses so far.

There are 140 staff going under voluntary redundancy, with a further 155 earmarked across management, shopfloor staff and other roles.

The letter states Bombardier will "continue to consult" with trade unions "on ways to further mitigate the need for compulsory redundancies".

The Canadian-owned aerospace giant's latest cuts right across the firm's operations globally comes amid trouble with its long-delayed C Series passenger jet series.

But Bombardier received a much-needed shot in the arm in April when it was revealed that it had secured an order to sell 75 of its CS100 jets to Delta Airlines, with the potential for a further 50 orders.

The total contract is valued at close to £4bn, with the deal worth anywhere between £300m and £400m for Bombardier's Belfast operations.

It employs around 5,000 staff here, and it has grown its team working on the C Series.

Bombardier was originally producing just the wings for both the CS100 and CS300 jets. But it is now building the fuselages for the planes.

Bombardier's chief executive Alain Bellemare said earlier this month that the company was eyeing up the Chinese market in a bid to increase sales of its passenger jets.

"I would say the focus (on China) has to increase. Clearly, this is a target market for us," said Mr Bellemare.

by john mulgrew

Belfast Telegraph

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