Congress Reiterates ‘Full Support’ for Bombardier Workers & Unions

28 Sep 2017


Trade union leaders across the island of Ireland have reiterated their full support for 4,500 manufacturing workers in Bombardier Belfast, and have vowed to continue lobbying support for their affiliated unions - Unite and GMB - at both intergovernmental levels and through international trade union movement networks.

There are 44 trade unions affiliated to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, working in all sectors of the economy across the island.

The Congress Executive Council has already stated its full support for the Unite and GMB unions, who represent the 4,500 Bombardier Belfast workers.

Speaking today Congress Assistant General Secretary Owen Reidy said:

“The bizarre, arbitrary and protectionist ruling by the US Department of Commerce on behalf of Boeing against Bombardier has the potential to have a devastating impact on its Belfast workforce and the wider Northern Ireland economy. These are highly skilled decent jobs that must be protected. It is incumbent on the entire political and business establishment in Northern Ireland to lobby and cajole the UK and Irish governments, the European Union and whatever friends we have in the US Congress to support the workers.

“While we believe that trade disputes have few winners, we support the call from Unite’s Jimmy Kelly for stronger action from the UK government. As Unite have pointed out, the UK government must now intervene to secure orders from British carriers for Bombardier aircraft and they should also immediately review all contracts with Boeing.

“We also support the GMB, who also represent Bombardier workers, and have criticised UK Prime Minister Theresa May for her ineffectual lobbying of President Trump to date. If the Prime Minister cannot stand up for a key strategic industry this time, how can we have any trust in her of her government’s ability to strike any half-decent trade deal after Brexit?

“The Irish Congress of Trade Unions will be doing what it can with the Irish Government, our colleagues in the TUC and the international trade union movement to seek to ensure that all of these jobs - which are a critical part of the Northern Ireland economy - are protected.”

Owen Reidy is available for comment 00447802 322902

For more information contact Macdara Doyle: 087 9174171