New blow for staff as Bombardier brings forward its jobs cuts
Bombardier is cutting a further 50 staff this year, bringing the job losses to 630 for 2016.
The Canadian-owned aerospace giant is planning to cut 1,080 jobs in the next two years. Around 580 of those were set to go by the end of 2016.
But the company has written to staff to say that a further 50 workers could go this year.
It's understood around 300 jobs have already gone across the Belfast operation. Those posts include contractors and casual workers. Now, a letter to staff seen by the Belfast Telegraph, breaks down in detail the job losses so far.
There are 140 staff going under voluntary redundancy, with a further 155 earmarked across management, shop floor staff and other roles.
The letter states that Bombardier will "continue to consult" with trade unions "on ways to further mitigate the need for compulsory redundancies".
It's understood that process will end on May 18.
Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate for East Belfast, Andy Allen, said he had been contacted by a number of workers about the further job losses.
"I was contacted by several concerned employees who had just been told by letter that the company were now expecting up to 630 jobs to go this year.
"One of the reasons given is that the company will give core employees in some areas the option to take redundancy if they do not want to downgrade to a lower position.
"While I am relieved that Bombardier has reaffirmed its commitment to the CSeries programme and to Northern Ireland's critical role in its delivery, these earlier than planned job losses shows the situation is still deeply unstable."
A spokeswoman for Bombardier said: "We have advised our employees that, having reviewed our requirements, regrettably, we need to pull forward some of the workforce reductions we had expected to take place next year.
"This overall figure of 1,080 has not changed. However, we now expect more people to leave this year, potentially up to 630, with the remainder leaving in 2017.
"We appreciate that this is a very difficult time for our workforce and their families, and we are doing all we can to mitigate the numbers of compulsory redundancies.
"However, it is crucial that we continue to evaluate all opportunities to significantly reduce our costs and improve our competitiveness, in order to help secure our long-term future."