Bombardier is to cut 280 jobs at its Belfast operations as the company’s trade row with US rival Boeing continues to simmer.
It comes a week after Airbus had eased jobs fears after agreeing to take a majority stake in Bombardier’s C-Series aircraft programme – the focus of the row.
The passenger planes are facing a 220% tariff and further 80% levy as a result of a US state aid ruling – disputed by the company and the UK and Canadian governments.
Canada-based Bombardier makes the wings for the C-Series in Belfast, where it currently employs 4,000 staff.
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But it said on Thursday: “Following the 7,500 global workforce reductions announced by Bombardier Inc last October, we continue to review our manpower requirements in Belfast and regret to confirm that we must reduce our workforce levels by around 280.
“Those impacted will be functional support personnel, including managers and professional staff.
“We acknowledge the impact this will have on our workforce and their families and we continue to explore opportunities to help mitigate the number of compulsory redundancies.
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“However, we need to continue to cut costs and improve the efficiency of our operations to help ensure our long-term competitiveness.”
Bombardier’s competitiveness was bolstered by its partnership with Airbus which will see US-bound C-Series planes assembled at Airbus US plants to avoid the 300% import tariffs.
The company signalled that the latest job losses were not a direct result of the trade dispute but an element of its continuing five-year plan to grow profitability.
It had cut 1,000 jobs in Belfast a year ago and a further 95 just last month.
Davy Thompson, Unite regional coordinating officer, said: “At a time when the unions and the broader Bombardier workforce in Northern Ireland are leading efforts to put the pressure on political leaders to use their leverage on Boeing and the US administration to rescind the 300% tariffs threatened on the C Series, it is very saddening that our efforts are rewarded by this announcement.
“Unite is calling on Bombardier to reconsider these redundancies and lift the threat to its workers in Northern Ireland at this time.”