‘AT THE end of the day this is being portrayed as a trade war, but it’s workers who will be suffering, thousands of them face losing their jobs,’ Unite Bombardier Convenor Noel Gibson told News Line yesterday.
Gibson was leading a delegation of Bombardier workers who met with MPs in the House of Commons yesterday. Speaking outside parliament Gibson continued: ‘We’re here on behalf of the workers. We’re here to tell the government that they need to put workers first.
‘The union is lobbying on our behalf both here and internationally to settle this dispute and defend our jobs. This is a dispute between nations. Boeing or Bombardier, at the end of the day it’s political.’
Bombardier Unite deputy Convenor Dougie Jamison said: ‘Everyone is worried. There’s a fear that this could bring down the whole plant, let alone the C-Series. There are 4,500 jobs at Bombardier, but there are about 17,000 jobs that rely on Bombardier in the supply chain. 17,000 jobs going out of a population of 1.8 million in Northern Ireland is a frightening prospect.Bombardier is a massive employer, so what happens here affects everyone in the north.’
Labour shadow business and international trade minister Bill Esterson said: ‘Boeing is using its muscle as the largest player to squash competitors, with the backing of the Trump government. 300% tariff on a product Boeing didn’t even bid for is an absolute outrage. The US government is going back to protectionism.
‘This is disastrous for Bombardier and the Northern Ireland economy. Liam Fox and his friends in the UK government have an entire trade strategy based on America being the answer for all the UK’s problems.
‘What’s happening shows this is nonsense. What’s needed is what Labour did when in government and George Bush did something similar with steel. We took that to the World Trade Organisation and the WTO found in our favour and at the same time we raised tariffs on some US products.’