Belfast Telegraph

Bombardier to cut almost 500 Belfast jobs in blow to Northern Ireland economy

Company says decision to help ensure long-term competitiveness

Bombardier in Belfast.
Bombardier in Belfast.
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Bombardier in Belfast is set to shed more than 10% of its workforce with 490 workers at the aerospace manufacturer facing redundancy, it has emerged.

It's understood that further jobs among agency workers and contractors may also be hit, beyond the 490 jobs of full-time, direct employees.

The transport company employs around 70,000 globally and announced two weeks ago that 5,000 jobs would be cut.

Around 4,000 staff work at the company’s Northern Ireland sites.

In a statement the company said: "Following the global workforce adjustments announced by Bombardier Inc. on November 8, 2018, we have reviewed our manpower requirements in Belfast and regret to confirm that we must reduce our workforce across the company by 490 employees.

“We acknowledge the impact this will have on our workforce and their families and we continue to explore opportunities to help mitigate the number of compulsory redundancies.  

"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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Posted by Belfast Telegraph on Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Belfast-based operation, formerly known as Shorts, had said it would “take the necessary time to evaluate what this means for our aerostructures and engineering services business”. 

“We will communicate with our employees in more detail over the coming weeks.”

Bombardier has faced mounting pressure and had been restructuring operations in Belfast and across the world over recent years. Earlier this year it sold part of its C-Series aircraft to Airbus.

East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson expressed concern at the latest announcement.

After speaking to Michael Ryan chief operating officer at Bombardier, he said: "The news a few weeks ago that Bombardier planned to cut 5,000 jobs across its worldwide operations obviously caused concern amongst the local workforce in Belfast. My thoughts today are primarily with those who now face an uncertain future and I hope the company will do everything possible to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies.

"There has been a huge amount of positivity surrounding the joint programme with Airbus on the A220, including a series of orders which I believe will continue and grow in the future. Bombardier is obviously making difficult decisions to ensure the future vibrancy of their operation globally.

"I will continue to assist the company and the Unions to support sustainability and future growth of the workforce in Northern Ireland.”

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