Belfast Telegraph

Bombardier staff to ballot for strike action over redundancies

Bombardier Aerospace (Niall Carson/PA)
Bombardier Aerospace (Niall Carson/PA)

Unions are to ballot Bombardier staff for strike action after the latest round of redundancies were announced at the aerospace firm.

Unite have said that Bombardier has announced 30-35 compulsory redundancies, days after announcing up to 40 voluntary redundancies.

A consultative ballot of the workforce had been agreed by Unite and GMB union reps and will commence on Monday April 29.

The redundancies are part of cost-cutting measures announced by the Canadian company last year.

As part of the restructuring it was announced that 490 staff would be let go in Northern Ireland.

Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Susan Fitzgerald said that workers had reacted to the latest redundancies with "sadness and indignation".

She said that the union and its members would not "sit back and watch" as the company "suffers death by a thousand cuts".

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Ms Fitzgerald said that there were concerns around the future of Bombardier in Northern Ireland.

"The unions have come together to challenge the company to come clean on their future plans for Northern Ireland and to ‘open their books’ on the underlying plans they have to address the financial demands of bondholders," she said.

“Bombardier’s employment in Northern Ireland has halved since 2014. We cannot sit back and watch as Bombardier goes the same way as Belfast shipbuilding, with jobs cuts ongoing until the very sustainability of operations is at risk.

Unite official Susan Fitzgerald
Unite official Susan Fitzgerald

"Cutting back on jobs and skills in Northern Ireland is not a strategy for growth however the financial markets may view it – instead of cutting back, Bombardier bosses must invest and bring back employment to Northern Ireland.”

A Bombardier spokesperson said the company would continue to work with staff and trade unions on their "transformation progress".

“We acknowledge the impact on our workforce and their families and we continue to explore opportunities to help mitigate the number of compulsory redundancies," a spokesperson said.

"A significant number of Belfast employees have already accepted voluntary packages. However, we need to continue to cut costs and improve the efficiency of our operations to help ensure our long-term competitiveness.”

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