1. ITV Report

Bombardier confirms plans to cut 490 jobs in Belfast

Around 4,000 people are currently employed by Bombardier in its Belfast factory. Credit: UTV

490 jobs are to be cut from Bombardier's Northern Ireland workforce, the company has confirmed.

In a statement, Bombardier say the reduction in staff has come about following a review into their manpower requirements in Belfast.

Earlier this month, the aerospace firm announced plans to cut 5,000 jobs globally as part of a restructuring initiative aimed at saving £146m.

Bombardier currently employs some 5,500 people in Northern Ireland, including around 4,000 in its Belfast factory.

Responding to the news, Unite the Union's Regional Secretary for Ireland, Jackie Pollock has described the cuts as a "heavy blow for the local economy."

She continued, "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 worse fears.”

Credit: UTV

A number of local politicians from the main parties have expressed concern about the job losses.

DUP MP Gavin Robinson has said he is thinking of the families and hopes "the company will do everything possible to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies."

It's been desrcibed as "a bitter blow to the 490 Bombardier staff set to face redundancy, especially as we are only weeks away from Christmas" by SDLP Business Spokesperson Pat Catney.

UUP MLA, Andy Allen has said it "is difficult to over-estimate the importance of Bombardier to not just East Belfast but the economic well-being of Northern Ireland plc."

"Bombardier has a long and strong heritage in East Belfast in particular," said Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle - who is "confident it will retain that key role in future."