Manufacturers in the North have declared they can only take so much. Canadian Aircraft manufacturer, Bombardier, has been forced to make unpalatable decisions to ensure the future safety of its global operations.
This has meant 490, high-end, high skilled jobs have been axed from the Belfast branch, as the aerospace firm slices its present in a bid to save try its future. Although Northern Ireland is sadly growing more and more accustomed to such cuts, this slice to the staff force has been much greater than anticipated. Leaving many loyal, skillful, manufacturers without work.
The firm is cutting in excess of 5,000 jobs across the world, with a current employee force of 69,500. Most of the company’s NI-based workforce are stationed in Belfast, working on a wing-making plant, which is undergoing financial turmoil.
Over the course of the past few years, there have been several redundancy programmes at Bombardier, Northern Ireland, and so close to Christmas, this slicing of staff force comes as a devastating blow to the workers and to the community.
Bombardier contributes greatly towards the economic wellbeing of not only Belfast, but the entirety of Ireland, and the high-quality jobs are not ones that any worker could afford to lose.
This is by no means the first time job losses at Bombardier, Belfast, have been heard of. In 2015 the firm cut 220 jobs due to a fall in the demand of business jets, and a further 20% of its workforce was set to go in 2016. 580 jobs in total were axed, with a further 500 in the start of the following year. 95 redundancies were announced in September 2017 and a further 280 job cuts arrived a mere month later.
It would appear that a job at Bombardier, Belfast, is simply not safe in the current climate, nor has not been for the last few years – as the Aerospace industry endures its worst downturn of the last three decades.
Bombardier is not the sole company responsible for the lack of work in the current climate. Michelin, tyre maker, and JTI Gallaher, Ballymena, cigarette maker, axed a combined 1,000 workers when the businesses closed in 2016.
Many of the manufacturers who have lost their jobs were originally employed due to them being technically-gifted individuals, who are a credit to both the company they work for, and the industry they work within.
Now, more so than ever, the manufacturers of Northern Ireland are being urged to form a collective voice in appeal for more work. It is thought through political paralysis that global giant corporates could take advantage of the unemployed skilled force, leading to the best in the business not being represented properly.
If things continue, an already struggling sector could worsen in Belfast, which is something that the North have expressed they will not stand for any longer.