Bombardier and Boeing dispute should go to World Trade Organisation, union says
Trade unionists have said a dispute between US planemaker Boeing and its Canadian rival Bombardier should be referred to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The US is threatening to impose a 300% tariff on imports of the Bombardier C Series aircraft.
The plane's wings are made in Northern Ireland and Unite the Union warned thousands of Northern Ireland jobs could be threatened should sales be badly affected.
Gaye Partridge, chair of Unite the Union's shop stewards committee in Bombardier, said the mooted levy effectively closed the US market to the C Series.
"Repealing this through the courts will take years and the punitive rate is designed to kill the potential that the C Series could ever compete in the future."
Her union is calling on Theresa May to use £4.6 billion of official contracts with Boeing as leverage to force the aerospace giant to drop its case.
She briefed Belfast City Council on calls for action from political leaders, urging councillors to follow other local authorities in lending their unanimous support and agreeing to write to the Prime Minister and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.
She asked the Prime Minister to ensure US President Donald Trump removed the proposed tariffs his administration wants to impose on imports of the new aircraft into the US.
"We also call on Theresa May to escalate this case to the WTO with immediate effect."