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Bombardier is cutting a further 50 staff this year, bringing the total job losses this year to 630.
The Canadian-owned aerospace giant is planning to cut 1,080 jobs in the next two year. Around 580 of those were set to go this year. But it’s now contacted staff to say a further 50 could go this year.
Around 300 Bombardier workers have already left the aerospace giant, while a further 100 have been accepted for voluntary redundancy, it has emerged.
It’s understood around 300 jobs have already gone across the Belfast operation. Those posts include contractors and casual workers.
But it’s believed around 100 other staff are also in for voluntary redundancy at the company.
A spokeswoman for Bombardier said: “We have advised our employees that, having reviewed our requirements, regrettably, we need to pull forward some of the workforce reductions we had expected to take place next year.
“In February this year, as part of a global downsizing across Bombardier, we announced a workforce reduction of up to 1,080, comprising 580 in 2016 and 500 in 2017.
“This overall figure of 1,080 has not changed. However, we now expect more people to leave this year – potentially up to 630 – with the remainder leaving in 2017.
“We appreciate that this is a very difficult time for our workforce and their families, and we are doing all we can to mitigate the numbers of compulsory redundancies.
“However, it is crucial that we continue to evaluate all opportunities to significantly reduce our costs and improve our competitiveness, in order to help secure our long-term future.”
Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate for East Belfast Andy Allen said he had been contacted by a number of workers about the further losses.
“The announcement in February of the planned loss of 1,080 jobs in Bombardier came as a shattering blow to the employees, and to the wider economy of East Belfast,” he said.
“The workforce was due to be cut by around 580 this year and by a further devastating 500 next year.
“Early this morning I was contacted by several concerned employees who had just been told by letter that the company were now expecting up to 630 jobs to go this year. One of the reasons given is that the company will give core employees in some areas the option to take redundancy if they do not want to downgrade to a lower position.
“Whilst I am relieved that Bombardier has reaffirmed its commitment to the CSeries programme and to Northern Ireland’s critical role in its delivery, these earlier than planned job losses shows the situation is still deeply unstable.”