Belfast Telegraph

Bombardier union reps to travel to North America in bid to protect Northern Ireland jobs

A delegation from union Unite representing Northern Ireland's Bombardier workers is set to travel across the Atlantic in a bid to protect local jobs.

Representatives will first visit Montreal on Sunday, where they will hold meetings with chief executive of Bombardier Alain Bellemare, Canadian politicians and trade unions.

The second leg of the trip will be in Washington D.C., where the delegation will hope to influence US politicians to oppose the tariffs on C-Series planes which has put the jobs of the company's 4,000 employees in Northern Ireland at risk.

A preliminary ruling by the US Department of Commerce could see a 300% tax applied on all C-Series jets sold into the US.

Canadian-owned Bombardier produces the wings and part of the C Series fuselage in Belfast.

Last month, Bombardier's sales boss has said its Northern Ireland operations could end up supplying Airbus following its historic deal with its one-time rival.

Unite has said that while in Washington, it also plans to enlist the support of the European Union, as well as Ireland and the UK's ambassadors to the United States.

The union's assistant general secretary Steve Turner is leading the delegation.

"Unite is leaving no stone unturned in our bid to safeguard Bombardier jobs in Northern Ireland and the wider supply chain," he said.

"It is crucial that the threat of these unjust crushing tariffs are removed.

"Boeing does not produce an aircraft in the same class as Bombardier’s C-series and didn’t even bid for the Delta contract it is complaining about, which leaves its complaint totally without merit.

“If the US government imposes tariffs and Boeing’s bullying wins the day, it will damage Bombardier and destroy UK jobs. It will also threaten thousands of jobs in Bombardier and its supply chain in the USA.

“With the US department of commerce’s determination, due on December 19, we will be bringing pressure to bear in Montreal and Washington, calling for fair play to win the day and get the threat of job destroying tariffs dropped."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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