Minister: Bombardier job losses down to fall in demand
Job losses at aerospace giant Bombardier are borne of the "necessity" to cut production in response to falling customer demand, Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell has said.
The Minister spoke after holding a meeting with Michael Ryan, who heads up the company's operation here.
Bombardier has made around 300 job cuts to its 5,000-strong workforce in the province in the past year.
It pointed to falling demand in the luxury jet market when announcing 280 job losses in the second half of 2015. Another 130 went in February.
This week it announced 60 jobs would go among agency staff, part of what it calls its "complementary labour force".
Bombardier has suffered setbacks in its ambitious CSeries programme, a narrow-bodied passenger jet aimed at a market dominated by its rivals.
Just 243 have been sold out of a projected 300.
Mr Bell said the job losses meant "a difficult start" to the year for those involved.
"Although this was a hard decision it has been made as a result of reduced customer demand on certain aircraft programmes and the necessity to adjust production," he said.
But he added the firm remained "a major driver" in the economy, renowned for its technology and innovation.
Minister Bell insisted he and economic development agency Invest NI had been giving help and support to the firm.
"Through Invest NI I have maintained contact with Bombardier's management, and the agency continues to support the company across a number of areas," he explained.