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Bombardier Belfast union says proposed plant sale shock to 3,600 workers

BELFAST, May 2 (Reuters) - Trade unions in Belfast expressed shock on Thursday after Canada’s Bombardier Inc announced plans to sell its plant in the city, the largest high-tech manufacturer in Northern Ireland, which employs over 3,600 people.

The decision is part of a plan to combine Bombardier’s corporate and regional jet units into a single aviation unit and shed more non-core assets, including its Belfast and Morocco aerostructures businesses.

“Today’s announcement will come as a shock to the entire Bombardier workforce in Northern Ireland,” the Unite trade union said in a statement.

“The UK government must stand ready to ensure the retention of jobs and skills at these sites, Bombardier is simply too important to the Northern Ireland economy to allow anything less.” (Reporting by Amanda Ferguson and Conor Humphries, editing by Padraic Halpin)