Aerospace company Bombardier announced the job losses to staff today (Wednesday) as part of an ongoing restructuring process in the organisation. The company announced 1,800 job losses across the organisation in the summer and today’s announcement represents the impact of that on the NI workforce.
The losses will total 390 across their Northern Ireland plants, including 90 core staff and 300 complementary labour force (contract) staff. The company have said it is hoped the reduction of 90 management and senior professional staff can be achieved through voluntary redundancy or early retirement. The 300 agency staff will include around 150 shop floor staff and 150 support staff. The consultation period will last for 30 days.
Mrs Long described it as a significant blow to the local economy and a difficult time for staff facing redundancy, but said work was underway to offer advice and support to the company and those leaving their positions.
“My primary concern is with those who will lose their jobs in what will be a very stressful and uncertain time for them and their families. I have spoken to Bombardier to offer my support and also the Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry, and his Department will be contacting Bombardier to offer guidance and assistance in this process.
“Such a significant number of redundancies can also have wider effects on the local economy which are harder to predict. While it will bring no comfort to those who will lose their jobs at Bombardier, the local management hope it will stabilise the workforce in the medium term.
“The fact the company is still committed to commencing 40 new apprenticeships next month, also indicates confidence in the longer-term about the company and its Northern Ireland base. Even with this recent number of redundancies, the overall number of staff in Bombardier is now greater than in 2009, when the industry was hit particularly hard by the recession.
“These job losses are hugely regrettable; however, I hope the restructuring will allow the employment numbers to stabilise for the remaining 5,800 employees in NI. It is crucial those who are being made redundant receive support and guidance to assist them with their next steps and helping them to find other suitable employment.”