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Bombardier to cut 490 Belfast jobs in global costs drive

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Bombardier has announced that 490 jobs will go in Belfast as part of efforts to cut costs and focus investment worldwide.

The Canadian-based manufacturer had signalled earlier this month that UK jobs were at risk next year as it planned to cut 5,000 positions worldwide – mostly in Canada.

It represents a further blow to its aerospace operation in Belfast, which makes the wings for its C-Series passenger jet, following cuts just over a year ago.

It currently employs 4,000 people in the city.

Bombardier main entrance in Derby
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Bombardier also employs staff at its rail engineering business in Derby who are unaffected by the cuts

The company said: “Following the global workforce adjustments announced by Bombardier on November 8 2018, we have reviewed our manpower requirements in Belfast and regret to confirm that we must reduce our workforce across the company by 490 employees.

“We acknowledge the impact this will have on our workforce and their families and we continue to explore opportunities to help mitigate the number of compulsory redundancies.

“However, we need to continue to cut costs and improve the efficiency of our operations to help ensure our long-term competitiveness.”

The Unite union had previously described the threat of further cuts at Bombardier’s five sites in Northern Ireland’s capital and its wider job loss plans as “brutal”.

Jackie Pollock, Unite union regional secretary for Ireland, said on Wednesday: “Although these jobs will not go until February or March, this announcement is a cruel blow for the Bombardier workforce in the mouth of Christmas.

“Unite has feared for some time that Bombardier might be bringing forward large-scale redundancies, but this news exceeds our worst fears.”

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