October 26, 2017 / 11:54 AM / a year ago

Bombardier to lay off 280 UK staff as part of global cuts

Flags fly above the Bombardier offices in Belfast, Northern Ireland September 26, 2017. Picture taken September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Belfast (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc will cut 280 non-production jobs at its Belfast plant in Northern Ireland as part of 7,500 layoffs worldwide announced last year, the Canadian plane manufacturer said on Thursday.

The jobs of the 4,200 workers at Bombardier’s cutting-edge Belfast wing factory have been put under threat in recent weeks by a trade dispute with U.S. rival Boeing Co that led the United States to move to impose a potential 300 percent duty on Bombardier’s CSeries next-generation passenger jet.

However, Airbus’ deal this month to buy a majority stake in the CSeries gave the Canadian firm a possible way out of the trade row.

Bombardier Belfast said in a statement the cuts in its support personnel were part of plans laid out last year to reduce its workforce by 10 percent through 2018, with most of the layoffs slated for its rail operations.

The cuts on Thursday follow 95 redundancies announced at Bombardier’s Northern Ireland operations last month.

“This highlights our concerns that the Airbus agreement secured in the last fortnight has not provided any long-term guarantees to Northern Ireland workers,” Davy Thompson, who represents the plant’s workers for the Unite trade union, said in a statement.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin and Amanda Ferguson; Editing by Mark Potter

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