Bombardier plant in Belfast braced for 600-plus job losses

More than 600 jobs are set to be lost at Bombardier’s aircraft manufacturing plant in Belfast amid the severe downturn in the aviation industry.

The planned redundancies include around 400 core staff members and 200-plus contractors that also work at the operation.

Bombardier Aviation blamed the “extraordinary industry interruptions and challenges” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

There will be a 90-day consultation period on the proposed core staff redundancies.

If 600-plus jobs are lost it will reduce the workforce to around 2,900.

Last week Bombardier announced plans for 2,500 redundancies across its worldwide aviation operations.

The workforce at Bombardier is set to reduce to around 3,000 (Liam McBurney/PA)

It cited an anticipated 30% drop in the sale of its jets.

The workforce at Bombardier in Belfast was informed of the plans on Thursday morning.

A Bombardier spokeswoman said: “Bombardier Aviation announced last week that it would adjust its workforce to align with current market conditions reflecting the extraordinary industry interruptions and challenges caused by Covid-19.

“We have now reviewed our requirements in Belfast for all of our aircraft programmes and regret to confirm that we must adjust our core workforce levels downwards by around 400 to align with market demand for the remainder of this year and through 2021.

“Around 400 Bombardier core employee jobs in Northern Ireland are currently at risk of redundancy. The company will be lodging a formal HR1 redundancy notice with the Department for the Economy, following which there will be a 90-day consultation period when we will explore opportunities to mitigate the number of redundancies.

“We deeply regret the impact this will have on our workforce and their families, but it is crucial that we resize our business in line with market realities in these unprecedented circumstances.”

A Bombardier spokeswoman later confirmed the company would also be “gradually releasing” members of its Complementary Labour Force (CLF) over the coming months.

Bombardier has more than 200 CLF contractors working in Belfast.

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