AN Alliance Party delegation – including Councillor Sean Neeson MLA, Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Investment; Councillor Naomi Long MLA (East Belfast); and Cllr Tom Ekin, Lord Mayor of Belfast – are to meet senior management at Belfast aerospace company Shorts on Monday (today) at 2pm.
The meeting follows the news that around 560 jobs are likely to go at the aircraft manufacturer by next summer.
Cllr Neeson said: “I am shocked at the number of jobs that are to be lost at Shorts factories in Northern Ireland. Clearly the uncertainty among American airlines at the moment is causing problems for Bombardier across the board, in Canada as well as locally.
“However, the new series ‘C’ aircraft could create major potential for future aircraft manufacture at Bombardier.”
Cllr Long added: “We know that Shorts have engaged in diversification to try to stabilise the workforce during the current downturn. Today will be seeking assurances that this will continue, in the hope that they can retain enough of a critical mass of skilled workers to take advantage of any future upturn in the market.
“Continued investment in research and development is also vital in building confidence and morale within the remaining workforce that Shorts is committed to Belfast for the long term.”