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Dublin: 1°C Friday 23 April 2021

Concern for workers as Bombardier to sell Belfast operation

The company said it is committed to finding “the right buyer”.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURER BOMBARDIER is selling its Belfast operation, it announced today.

The company employees 3,600 people across several locations in Northern Ireland. In a statement, it said the move was part of the “strategic formation of Bombardier Aviation, consolidating all aerospace assets into a single, streamlined and fully integrated business”.

The firm said it will now sell both its Belfast and Morocco aerostructure businesses. Bombardier said it is committed to finding “the right buyer” and will work closely with employees and unions through any future transition period.

“There are no new workforce announcements as a result of this decision.

“But our management team will continue to drive ongoing transformation initiatives to improve productivity and increase our competitiveness, to give more weight to our unique value proposition to potential buyers.”

Last year the company announced it was cutting 5,000 jobs across its global operations and later announced its intention to cut a further 490 jobs from its Northern Ireland operations. 

Susan Fitzgerald from Unite said the trade union will be closely watching interested parties in the sale.

She said if they see “rogue elements” or companies who intend to asset-strip or “take a blade” to the workforce, the union “will cause hell”.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said the announcement of the intention to sell “will be unsettling for staff”.

“I have spoken today with Michael Ryan from Bombardier. It is welcome that there have been no workforce implications in relation to this announcement and both staff and the company can be assured of any support locally or in London which might assist them at this time,” she said.

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