More jobs fears as Bombardier announces massive cuts

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There are renewed fears for jobs in Belfast as Bombardier has confirmed it aims to shed 7,500 posts across its global workforce.

The Canadian transport giant is fighting challenges to both its aerospace and rail divisions worldwide and says it intends to shed around 10% of its global workforce which currently stands at close to 80,000.

Although it is understood that the rail division is to bear up to two thirds of the cuts, Belfast - where the wings for the new CSeries commerical jet are built - is already set to lose 1,080 jobs over the next two years, and recently announced it was bringing forward 700 of those losses to this year.

A statement from the firm in Belfast said: “Following the update today by Bombardier Inc on its five-year turnaround plan, we will be evaluating the impact on our Belfast operations and will communicate with our employees when that is completed.

“We are not in a position to elaborate further at this time.”

It is also understood that 2,000 jobs are expected to go in Canada but Alain Bellemare, president and CEO said the cust were essential to re-establish the firm.

“The actions announced today will ensure we have the right cost structure, workforce and organization to compete and win in the future,” he said.

“We are confident in our strategy, our leadership team and our ability to achieve both our 2016 goals and our 2020 turn-around plan objectives.

“We understand these are difficult decisions... but in the end, what we are going to be left with is a leaner, stronger organisation,” he added.”

Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton said he was disappointed at the latest development.

“Today’s news will be very upsetting to those working for the company, and their families, especially following on from the announcement made in February,” he said.

“It is important to note that today’s announcement by the company signals an ongoing ramp-up on its newest aircraft programmes, the C Series and Global 7000, both of which have significant Northern Ireland work content. “We will continue to work closely with Michael [Ryan] and his team in Belfast to support them through this process, and will maintain contact with the management team in Canada to present the strengths and benefits of Northern Ireland as part of the Bombardier operation. “We also remain committed to the implement the Aerospace Growth Partnership’s Industrial Strategy for UK Aerospace and our regional strategy for the sector.”