Belfast Telegraph

Bombardier boss loses shareholder's backing

By John Mulgrew

A major Canadian pension fund is withdrawing support for the executive chairman of aerospace giant Bombardier. Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, one of Bombardier's biggest shareholders, said in a letter this week that it withheld its vote for Pierre Beaudoin in his re-election bid.

Bombardier employs around 4,500 workers across Northern Ireland.

The majority are based in Belfast and, among other work, produce the wings and parts of the fuselage for its CSeries passenger planes.

The fund says the Bombardier board should be headed by a fully independent director. Mr Beaudoin is a member of the company's founding family.

Last month Bombardier faced protests outside its Montreal headquarters and criticism from Canada's Prime Minister following a pay rise for its top-earning executives in a year when the firm cut 1,080 jobs in Northern Ireland.

Despite the plane maker receiving a US$1bn (£0.75bn) bailout from the Quebec Government for its struggling CSeries jet and a CAN$375m (£225m) loan from the Canadian Government, the company's top bosses will see their pay and bonuses rise this year to $32.6m (£26m). The move sparked outrage among other staff.

Bombardier has since said it will defer 50% of the payments until 2020.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was not happy at the pay rise for the company's fat cats.

"We're obviously not pleased with the decision that Bombardier made around its remuneration for its executives," he told the Canadian parliament. Bombardier boss Alain Bellemare said: "We didn't do a good job of communicating it.

"If you look at it at face value, I can understand why people were so angry, so unhappy."

Mr Trudeau had previously said: "We believe in the long-term profitability and growth in our auto and aerospace sector.

"We know that investing in Bombardier is a way of ensuring good, long-term jobs."

Belfast Telegraph