Unite warns Bombardier workers "are holding their breath" in Boeing corporate bullying dispute
Unite, the UK’s largest union has today (Tuesday 26 September) told Labour Party Conference that workers at the Bombardier factory in Northern Ireland are “holding their breath” over the company’s future and that the UK government must intervene to protect jobs.
The crisis at Bombardier, which is the largest private sector manufacturer in Northern Ireland, is a result of Boeing making a complaint of corporate dumping to the US Department of Commerce. The Commerce Department is due to announce its preliminary findings at 5pm today (Tuesday 26 September).
Moving the emergency motion on Bombardier at Labour Party Conference, Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “We call upon the British and Canadian governments to meet with Boeing to resolve this crisis.
“Workers in Belfast are holding their breath.
“The prime minister and the government need to make it clear to Trump they will not stand back and watch our members jobs and our communities threatened like this.
“Mrs May needs to stand up for our members in the aerospace industry and for decent jobs and for manufacturing in the U.K.”
Boeing’s case concerns Bombardier’s Cseries airliners. Boeing’s case is a result of Bombardier having benefitted from state investment from Canada and from Invest NI, Northern Ireland’s economic development agency, all of which was lawful and legitimate.
If Boeing claims are upheld Bombardier could face punitive fines and this would place at risk thousands of jobs at the company’s Belfast factory and could threaten the sites very existence. It would also affect an even greater number of jobs in the supply chain.
Mr Burke also said: “Of course Boeing is emboldened by Trump's America First policy and as a result thousands of skilled workers futures are in doubt.
“What is needed is to end this corporate bullying by Boeing, putting these good jobs at risk.
“The UK government is the second largest purchaser of Boeing products including P8 marine surveillance aircraft and Apache helicopters estimated to be around £4 billion worth of work.”