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  1. ITV Report

Bombardier 'given assurance' by EU over future support

Bombardier representatives from Belfast say they have received an assurance from Brussels over the future support of the UK government and the EU.

Union officials traveled to Brussels following a ruling by the US government to impose massive punitive tariffs on Bombardier, threatening local jobs here.

It follows a bitter trade row with US aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

Canadian based Bombardier has been hit with US trade penalties totaling more than 200% after Boeing alleged unfair competition in Bombardier's sale of the C-Series jet.

The US department of Trade wants even stricter penalties to be imposed.

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European involvement in the war of words has come about after French air giant Airbus stepped in to support Bombardier in the manufacture and sale of the C-Series jet.

While Airbus said it was committed to the Bombardier UK workforce - the GMB union is still worried about the US tariffs and the potential impact on the Northern Ireland economy.

Alan Malcolm from GMB said: "We are currently hearing very little from the Westminster administration. We came out here to ask for the full support of the EU commissioners.

"We have come over here and in the three days we have had more response than we did meeting any of the local politicians and national politicians.

"The commissioners are fully committed to supporting the Bombardier workers and to try and put a stop to the egregious corporate bullying that Boeing are trying to place on the workforce in Northern Ireland".

More than 4,000 people are employed by Bombardier in Belfast - a quarter of them work on the wings of the C-Series jet.

And while their livelihoods depend largely on the success of the C-Series, the assurance from Brussels bureaucrats will go some way in easing fears of any further turbulence for local workers.