27/09/2017

Call For UK Govt To Intervene Over Bombardier Tax Ruling

Unite the union is calling on the Government to intervene after the US chose to impose a tax on the C-Series made by Bombardier which could put thousands of jobs in Belfast in jeopardy.

Over 4,000 people are employed by the Canadian firm in Northern Ireland.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she is "bitterly disappointed" by the decision.

Unite Regional Secretary, Jimmy Kelly, said: "The decision in favour of Boeing's allegations of anti-competitive pricing poses a direct and very serious threat to the 4,500 Bombardier jobs in Belfast and many more dependent on them across our service sector and in the wider supply chain. This would cause serious damage to our economy and to our society – which needs a robust economy to underpin our society's continued political progress and the path to reconciliation.

"Despite this ruling, Boeing's case is without merit – they suffered no detriment from Bombardier's success in winning the Delta order."

Ulster Unionist East Belfast MLA Andy Allen called on the UK Government to send a clear and uncompromising message to Boeing that other contracts could be reconsidered in the UK.

He said: "The UK Government needs to send a clear and uncompromising message to Boeing that the Poseidon, AH Apache and C17 contracts, as well as Boeing's contract to maintain UK MoD aircraft, could be reconsidered in light of their self-centred and protectionist stance.
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"Any support that was given to assist the C-Series was entirely appropriate. Boeing didn't make their complaint because of some moral obligation, they made it because they weren't happy with a rival competitor, Bombardier, making such a tremendous product in the shape of the C-Series. Boeing do not even have a similar product in the marketplace so it was nothing more than protectionism from them. Now we see outrageous tariffs being imposed on sales of C-Series jets into the US market. Boeing's fixation with Bombardier could potentially put hundreds of hardworking people out of work, along with many more in associated roles."

Sinn Féin Leader in the North Michelle O'Neill said the priority going forward must be the "livelihoods of local workers".

She said: "The Department of Commerce ruling is a blow to the many families and workers who face a very uncertain future and difficult times ahead.

"I have been working tirelessly raising this issue with US officials in order to safeguard the welfare of workers.

"I have written to the US Vice President and also briefed the Chairman of the US Congressional Friends of Ireland committee, Ritchie Neal on the damage this dispute will have on thousands of families across the north. 

"We have also briefed the Office of the New York State Comptroller, as a significant shareholder in the Boeing company to ensure our concerns are understood by the company."

(CD/LM)

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