Bombardier staff consider strike action following NI layoffs

  • Bombardier staff in Northern Ireland will consider strike action as part of a industrial action against recent layoffs and a lack of clarity.

    The story of Bombardier's business in Northern Ireland over the past few years has been a complicated one, with the firm announcing layoffs every year since 2015. Around 220 jobs lost in 2015 were attributed to a drop in demand for private jets, followed by 630 in 2016 as a cost-cutting measure, and a further 375 cuts in 2017.

    Most recently, Bombardier announced 490 NI job losses in 2018 as part of a push to reduce the production cost of its Airbus A220 medium-range jet airliner. The wings for the craft are manufactured in Northern Ireland, with Bombardier employing around 4,000 staff in its NI locations as of late 2018.

    The repeated layoffs at the company have been contrasted by a slew of new orders for the A220, and last year was a record year for aircraft sales worldwide. Staff at Bombardier Northern Ireland are now considering strike action, with union Unite planning to conduct a ballot of the workforce on Monday April 29.

    The ballot follows news that Bombardier has announced 30-35 compulsory redundancies just days after announcing up to 40 voluntary redundancies within the staff. Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Susan Fitzgerald expressed her concern for the lack of clarity on Bombardier's future operations 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. 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."

    Source: Belfast Telegraph, Image ©Ardfern

    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

    Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Sync NI? Email the editorial team for our consideration.

Share this story