Prime minister Theresa May cannot be a bystander and must along with the Canadian government, pull every ‘lever’ at their disposal - including the UK’s massive defence spending in the US - to ensure fair trade prevails in securing the future of thousands of Belfast Bombardier jobs, Britain’s largest union, Unite said today (Thursday 28 September).
Warning that time ‘is not our side’, Unite also questioned why Bombardier was not given the opportunity to puts its case to the US department of commerce and urged Theresa May to use the UK’s so-called ‘special relationship’ with the US to preserve jobs here in the UK.
Urging prime minister Theresa May to personally intervene with Boeing and to get the Canadian government to do the same, Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “The UK government is one of Boeing’s biggest customers, spending billions with the company including orders for Apache helicopters, P8 marine surveillance planes and Chinook helicopters.
“Prime minister Theresa May has talked tough on Boeing, but now needs to personally intervene with the company and use this relationship to make sure fair trade prevails.
“The prime minister cannot be a bystander in all of this and needs to pull every lever to ensure Bombardier jobs are protected from the bullying behaviour of Boeing. Soon, a quarter of all UK defence spending will be going to the US - this must give us a voice that should be heard.
“Theresa May must also pressure the US government and ask why its department for commerce has decided to impose massive tariffs without allowing Bombardier the chance to put its case.
“Time is not on our side. With a World Trade Organisation hearing taking up to three years, prime minister Theresa May must act fast, targeting the US government, to preserve the thousands of jobs that depend on Bombardier’s Belfast operation.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.