Canadian-owned aerospace company, Bombardier has announced a reduction to its Belfast workforce of 390 jobs. The job cuts will affect 90 permanent staff and 300 temporary workers. Half of the 300 temporary workers who are affected by this announcement make products on the factory floor. The job losses have been linked to work delays related to the new C-series jet project, reported as being two years behind schedule. Bombardier makes wings and other aircraft parts. The restructuring in Northern Ireland forms part of a major global restructuring across global operations, where around 1,800 jobs are expected to be lost. Prior to these cuts, around 5,000 permanent employees and 1,000 temporary and contract staff were employed at the Belfast base.
The latest reductions come less than one year after UK Prime Minister David Cameron opened a new wing-making facility at the site and the company announced an expansion of 250 jobs. Over the past four years, Bombardier has increased its workforce in Northern Ireland by more than 1,200; largely via temporary contracts. Nevertheless, staffing levels at the base in Belfast have fluctuated considerably during the past eight years. The Belfast site will now form part of a new division within Bombardier specialising in the development and manufacturing of carbon fibre wing, which reduce fuel consumption due to their lighter weight.