Speaking to party
members in Belfast, Workers’ Party employment spokesman, John Lowry, has expressed dismay as Canadian company Bombardier
announced plans to axe 975 jobs from its Shorts plants in east Belfast.
bad news from Shorts follows job losses at FG Wilson, Nortel, and most recently at Visteon in the west of the city, where
more than 100 workers are staging a sit-in protest at redundancy conditions. This industrial action has since spread to other
Visteon plants in England and we send our support to all these workers", said John Lowry.
unemployment figures for the early part of this year put the Northern
unemployment rate at 5.7%, so that the official unemployment rate has probably now passed the 6% mark. Figures are particularly
high among the younger age group, with the unemployment rate for 18-24 year olds at almost 14%."
“On top of this,
has a particularly high percentage of economically inactive people (nearly 28% compare to a UK
average of 20.6%). Although most of these economically inactive people say they do not want a job, 7% want to work but have
given up actively seeking a job. This means that there are 39,000 people here, in addition to those 46,000 people officially
unemployed (March 2009 figures) who are out of work. And who can doubt that things are going to get worse?"
FG Wilson, Nortel and Visteon are all owned by overseas parent companies which have blamed the impact of the global recession
for their cutbacks. What the politicians must learn is that they cannot trust foreign investment to bring prosperity and stability
to the lives of people in Northern Ireland. For their part, workers here –as elsewhere in the developed world- may once have believed that there
was no realistic alternative to the untrammelled market. Catastrophic global events in the capitalist economy and their local
consequences will cause more and more workers in Northern Ireland to look to socialist alternatives such as that of the Workers Party.”
Issued 2nd April