Latest redundancy bombshell comes despite mounting profits as corporate bosses restructure to meet financial market demands

Global trade union response needed to challenge corporate race-to-bottom agenda of offshoring, outsourcing and retrenchment

Responding to news that Bombardier will make 490 workers at its Northern Ireland plants redundant as part of a wider retrenchment plan for five thousand jobs globally, Unite Regional Secretary for Ireland, Jackie Pollock said.

“Today’s announcement by Bombardier that 490 jobs in Northern Ireland are to be cut is a heavy blow for the local economy and represents more than 10 percent of the total workforce here. This would mean that a disproportionate number of the five thousand jobs to be cut globally will be going in Northern Ireland. The jobs under threat range across all skillsets and occupations and are exclusive of job losses among agency workers/ sub-contractors and the possible future outsourcing of so-called ‘non-core activities’.

“Although these jobs will not go until February or March, this announcement is a cruel blow for the Bombardier workforce in the mouth of Christmas. Unite has feared for some time that Bombardier might be bringing forward large-scale redundancies but this news exceeds our worse fears.” Mr Pollock said.

Unite regional coordinating officer Susan Fitzgerald, confirmed her union will be seeking an urgent meeting with Bombardier global management to express their anger and disgust at today’s announcement and insist on an alternative plan being brought forward that does not lead to job-losses: “There is no justification for these job-losses. Bombardier’s profits are increasing rapidly and the company’s finances have stabilised. This is more about satisfying the insatiable demands of the financial sector than about securing the skills base of its workforce. Bombardier corporate management seem enthralled by the need to generate ever higher profits for shareholders’ benefit through retrenchment, outsourcing and offshoring work.

“Skilled workers cannot accept being hired and fired on the basis of how much more profit will go to shareholders. Unite is already engaging with trade unions representing workers across the Bombardier sites in Europe and North America to bring forward a global workers’ response to this race-to-the-bottom agenda.” Ms Fitzgerald said.

For further information or an interview contact Susan Fitzgerald, regional coordinating officer, tel. 07919 881218; or Donal O’Cofaigh, Unite Campaigns & Communications, tel. 07810 157926