Northern Ireland

Bombardier pay dispute ends as workers accept new deal

Image caption Bombardier employs about 4,500 people in Northern Ireland

A long-running pay dispute is over at Bombardier, one of Northern Ireland's biggest employers.

Staff voted by a three-to-one margin to accept a multi-year deal, with a below-inflation 2% rise for 2017.

The row began after the firm wanted a two-year pay freeze and led to talks with unions at the Labour Relations Agency.

In a statement on the deal, Bombardier said "significant challenges" remain for the business.

Its 4,500 workers received no rise last year.

However, they will receive 2% this year and next, with 2.75% in 2019.

After the dispute started in late 2015, Bombardier announced 1,080 redundancies at its Northern Ireland operations, as part of global cutbacks.

The company was forced to adopt a turn-around plan after serious financial problems caused by delays in its CSeries aircraft programme.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The wings for Bombardier's C-Series planes are made in Belfast

A Bombardier statement read: "'Following negotiations between the company and trade unions, the unions balloted their members on a four-year pay offer tabled by the company.

"We can confirm that that offer has been accepted by the workforce.

"We still have significant challenges to address in terms of improving our competitiveness, but we will continue to work with our employees to protect the long-term future of our business."

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