GMB Tim Roache visits Bombardier
4 December 2017

Ministers must urgently make the strongest possible challenge to the actions of Boeing and Trump administration to protect livelihoods and communities of the Bombardier workforce

Tim Roache, General Secretary of GMB, the union for Bombardier workers, will visit the company’s Belfast plant tomorrow to speak to affected staff.

The union boss will meet workers, GMB reps and Bombardier senior management to hear first-hand of the difficulties facing the long established plant.

GMB’s delegation will also see the excellent work carried out by the workers in Belfast.Bombardier was hit with punitive tariffs by US President Donald Trump’s administration after a complaint from multi-billion rival firm Boeing that it has engaged in anti-competitive practices over its new C series planes was upheld. [1]

The company now faces an additional 80% penalty tariff — taking it from 220% to 300% — which will slap an additional $15 million dollars on the cost of each C series plane sold to Delta Airlines in the US.

There are more than 4,500 workers at the Bombardier site in Belfast - with around 1,000 workers who work directly on the C Series planes.Bombardier has several other production and engineering sites in the EU also likely to feel the impact, which GMB feels further strengthens the urgency for EU action.

GMB says the threat of further job losses as a result of uncertainty risked having a ‘domino effect’ on the Northern Ireland economy.In October, GMB members working for Bombardier lobbied Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Smith to ask for more action to safeguard their jobs. [2]

Then last month an urgent GMB delegation flew to Brussels for a series of meetings with MEPs and European Commission trade officials, who showed the livelihoods of 4,500 workers at the Bombardier site in Belfast are being taken ‘very seriously’ by Brussels. [3]

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:

“Donald Trump’s protectionism – and a court ruling thousands of miles away – are putting the livelihoods of our members in Belfast under serious threat.

“Thousands of hard-working, skilled Bombardier staff are going into the festive season not knowing what the New Year will hold for their jobs.

"It’s not the sort of Christmas present any of us would want.

"Ministers must urgently make the strongest possible challenge to the actions of Boeing and Trump administration to protect livelihoods and communities of the Bombardier workforce."

Michael Mulholland, GMB Organiser, said:

“Quality Bombardier jobs in Belfast are under attack by both the US administrations protectionist policies and Boeing.

“As GMB has already warned – there is the potential for this to extend to the wider UK and EU manufacturing sector.