Bombardier Shorts worker in Union flag dice row says firm is not inclusive

Posted By: August 08, 2015

 Rebecca Black.Belfast Telegraph. Friday, August 7, 2015

Bombardier’s Belfast base
Bombardier’s Belfast base

The worker who complained about a set of Union flag dice in a colleague’s car at an aircraft plant says the incident is only the tip of the iceberg.

He has claimed that none of the four sites operated by Bombardier Shorts in Northern Ireland have an inclusive environment.

•The Belfast Telegraph revealed yesterday that another worker had been ordered by Human Resources at the company to remove a set of Union flag dice from his rear view mirror after a complaint.

The car is his own, and does not belong to the company. It would sit in the car park of one of the four sites where Shorts operates while he is at work.

He was stunned on Tuesday to be called to HR, which informed him that someone had complained about the dice – which were described as “very small”.

The worker was instructed to remove the dice and not bring them back on to the premises. He said he did so because he feared he might lose his job if he did not.

Following our story, the man who made the complaint about the dice phoned the Belfast Telegraph saying that he wanted to make it clear that the novelty dice were “not furry and not small”.

The worker went on to claim there was an “uncomfortable working environment” across the four Bombardier sites – east Belfast, Newtownabbey, Dunmurry and Newtownards.

“Let’s just say it is not exactly inclusive, you have to drive past tens if not hundreds of Union flags to get to each of the sites, then when you get there, there is a Union flag flying from the building,” he said.

“A lot of people feel the way I do, people from both a non-unionist background and some from a unionist background too.

“There have been incidents where marching band music is played loudly in cars, and as for the dice, they were not fluffy and they were not small.

“The vehicle they were in was reversed into a prominent place where it would be seen.”

The man said he was pleased that policy was followed and the dice were removed, but said he still had concerns.

“At Belfast City Hall the flag policy was reviewed for an inclusive working environment, the same thing should happen at Bombardier Shorts,” he said.

A company spokeswoman said: “As we stated yesterday, if employees have any concerns or issues regarding the neutrality of their working environment, they are encouraged to discuss them with their direct manager or the company’s equal opportunities manager.

“Our aim is to resolve such issues in a harmonious manner. We have no further comment.”