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Government must use every avenue to defend Bombardier workers – Nicholson

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson met with a delegation from the GMB trade union representing Bombardier workers, in the European Parliament on Wednesday.

The delegation is in Brussels this week to lobby EU officials for support in the ongoing dispute with Boeing and the US Government.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Nicholson said:

“I was glad to meet with the GMB Bombardier delegation in the European Parliament this week, as they visited Brussels to lobby EU officials.

“Europe has expertise and experience in taking on Boeing.  In my years serving as chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the US Congress, trade disputes between aircraft manufacturers were often at the top of the agenda. In particular, during disputes between the US and the EU about Boeing and Airbus, the European Commission never missed an opportunity to highlight the advantage Boeing was able to accrue from the US Government.

“I fear however that there may now be a temptation from Brussels to sit back and let the UK Government do the fighting, given the fact that we will be leaving the European Union in the near future. That would be a huge mistake, as this creeping protectionism from the US has the potential to hurt workers across the EU.

“Similarly, the UK Government must not be too proud to seek assistance from Brussels. We are still full members of the European Union, and the Government should be using every avenue possible to reverse this decision, and to defend Bombardier workers in Belfast.”

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