MLAs Call for Action on Job Losses
Date: 02 April 2009
The Assembly’s Employment and Learning Committee reacted with shock and dismay to the announcements this week of so many job losses. MLAs on the Committee were left reeling at today’s news that almost 1,000 jobs are to go at Bombardier. The Committee sees the Bombardier announcement as a further body blow to the economy here, following as it does in the wake of the announcements of redundancies at Visteon and FG Wilson.
The Committee called on Executive Ministers to work together with the Assembly and local government to leave no stone unturned in helping all those who have lost their jobs. All available support mechanisms must be brought into play and government must be seamless in its response to this terrible situation. Members of the Committee particularly offered support to the Employment and Learning Minister in organising a jobs fair to bring together employers who may be able to offer opportunities to the hundreds who have lost their jobs. The Minister’s department has successfully run similar events in Coleraine and in Limavady after the Seagate job losses. However, Committee Members agreed that the deepening recession would have an impact on the success of such an event.
Chairperson of the Committee, Sue Ramsey MLA said, “I can’t believe the news. We have already seen the situation at the Visteon site in West Belfast where people have been left not knowing where they stand. Bombardier is our largest manufacturer and seeing them lay off nearly 1, 000 people is devastating. We need to work together to provide as much help and support as we can for all these people losing their jobs and their families. The jobs going at Visteon, FG Wilson and Bombardier will cause tremendous suffering.”
Deputy Chairperson of the Committee, Robin Newton MLA added, “Bombardier is in my own constituency and words cannot describe how heavy-hearted this news has made me and the rest of the Committee. We are facing job losses that are unprecedented in recent times, with the losses at Visteon and FG Wilson. I don’t think any of us could have predicted how badly this recession would bite. There must be unity of purpose in the Assembly to see what we can do for the people who have been put out of work by this recession.”