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Sat, 28 November 2020

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GMB welcomes Bombadier deal but warns 'Devil will be in detail'

GMB

2 min read

The deal is liable to further scrutiny from the US administration who may see it as an attempt to dodge their trade tariffs.


GMB has welcomed a deal between Bombardier and Airbus announced today, but warns the ‘devil will be in the detail’.

Aerospace firm Airbus will now take a majority stake in Bombardier's C-Series jet project.

Part of the deal means planes for the US market will be assembled at the Airbus factory in Alabama – potentially circumventing Bombardier’s tariff troubles.

GMB will raise concerns about the legal implications of the deal when meeting with Bombardier in Belfast tomorrow [Wednesday 18 October].

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.

Bombardier now faces an additional 80% penalty tariff — taking it from 220% to 300%.

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.

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

Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer, said:

“This sounds like potentially good news for our members in Belfast.

“But, as always, the devil will be in the detail.

“This deal is liable to further scrutiny from the US administration that may see it as an attempt to dodge their trade tariffs.

“GMB hopes both Bombardier and Airbus have taken cast iron legal advice to ensure they don’t get rid on one legal challenge only to open themselves up to another.

“I will discuss this further when I meet with the company in Belfast tomorrow.” 

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