Belfast Telegraph

Bombardier to cut almost 400 jobs

One of Northern Ireland's main aerospace companies, Bombardier, is to cut almost 400 jobs.

Cuts will affect permanent staff and temporary workers and will fall across the Belfast-based business.

Bombardier is a Canadian headquartered firm and produces wings and other parts in Belfast.

A spokeswoman said: "It is right across the company, all areas of the company will be affected."

The firm will be ending 300 temporary and contract jobs and is seeking 90 redundancies from its permanent workforce.

It is one of Northern Ireland's biggest employers. About 5,000 permanent employees and approximately 1,000 temporary and contract staff work at the east Belfast base. Across its global operations around 1,800 posts are expected to go as part of a major restructuring, the firm has previously said.

Over the past four years, Bombardier has increased its total Northern Ireland workforce by more than 1,200, primarily through temporary contract jobs, the spokeswoman for the company in Belfast added.

She said: "We regret to confirm that up to 90 Bombardier employees in Northern Ireland are at risk of redundancy.

"What we will be doing is lodging a formal redundancy notice with government and a 30-day consultancy period will be held.

"That gives us an opportunity to explore means to mitigate compulsory redundancy. In addition we will be releasing up to 300 contractors, temporary workers and members of our complementary workforce."

The Belfast centre will become part of a new section within Bombardier specialising in the supply and development of composite (made up of several parts) plastic structures like wings or metallic parts.

The spokeswoman added: "That will allow us to be more flexible in terms of responding to customer needs."

Half of the 300 temporary employees who are affected work on the shop floor making the products.

Bombardier has faced a series of delays in its work surrounding the new C-series jet project, which is an expansion into the 100-149 seat market.

Jackie Pollock, regional industrial officer for the Unite union that organises the overwhelming majority of company workers, expressed deep disappointment and requested a proactive response from Stormont politicians.

"This announcement highlights the inadequacy of existing employment protection, in particular for that afforded to agency workers who are making up more and more of the overall Northern Ireland labour force. There's a need for Stormont politicians to take action to improve job security protections for workers.

"The scale of the job losses associated with this announcement is a huge blow to the Belfast economy and will inevitably lead to more joblessness throughout the wider economy by reduced overall spending."

He said since 2008 output from Northern Ireland's manufacturing sector has shrunk by nine per cent, meaning many of those highly skilled workers who will lose their jobs will struggle to find employment.

"This decision reinforces the need for the Northern Ireland (ministerial) executive to initiate a substantial and wider economic investment strategy to address the range of serious economic challenges we face."

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