THE WORKERS' PARTY OF IRELAND

WP dismayed at loss of 1000 jobs in Belfast

Growth in unemployment is alarming says Lowry

Bombardier logo

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.


“This 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.

“Alarming unemployment figures for the early part of this year put the
Northern Ireland
  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,
Northern Ireland 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?"

“Shorts, 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 2009

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics