GMB in Brussels fighting for Bombardier jobs
13 November 2017

Donald Trump’s US Administration in aggressive stance against Northern Ireland workers is the tip of iceberg for Europe, says GMB union

GMB, the union for Bombardier workers, has sent an urgent delegation to Brussels to demand action from the EU on Bombardier.

Bombardier was hit with punitive tariffs of around 300% 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.

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. The threat of further job losses as a result of the uncertainty risks having a ‘domino effect’ on the Northern Ireland economy.

During a series of meetings with MEPs and European Commission trade officials, GMB discussed how to tackle the aggressive US trade policy head on. The GMB warned that attacks on Bombardier today will be attacks on other industries across Europe, if this action by the US is allowed to go unchallenged by EU.

The GMB Delegation met with very high ranking officials within the European Commission for Trade and Leopold Rubinacci, Director for Trade Defence promised to work with the GMB going forward and promised that Bombardier was high on his and the EU’s agenda.

The GMB delegation expressed their disappointment and bewilderment at the silence and perceived lack of activity from the UK’s Conservative Government and Mr Runinacci promised to raise this matter with the UK Government.

During the visit, the GMB Delegation met with MEP’s from Labour, UUP and DUP parties and Labour’s Jude Kirton-Darling and David Martin raised the Bombardier issue on the floor of the European Parliament in a debate on Trade, which the GMB delegation were in attendance.

The delegation made a great number of contacts over the trip who have offered their support in our #backbombardier campaign and special thanks has to go to Georg von Harrach who arranged for media coverage of our visit which culminated in ITV news covering our trip and the story going out across Northern Ireland on primetime TV news at 6pm and 10pm on Thursday 9th November.

Alan Malcolm, GMB Senior steward at Bombardier stated the visit had been a huge success. He felt the support given to the Bombardier workers by the European Commission would be welcomed by his members and the workforce in general and he is looking forward to continuing the good working relationships that the GMB have made this week, in the coming months ahead.

The access to all parts of the European Parliament and Commission was made possible by the GMB’s European Officer Kathleen Walker-Shaw who opened a lot of doors to very influential people. The delegation would to thank Kathleen for all her hard work.

here is a link to the ITV story and video - CLICK HERE

GMB North West & Irish Region