Unite calls for increased protection for workers in manufacturing sector and NI Executive to adopt a Manufacturing Strategy to defend employment
Responding to the plans of Caterpillar (FG Wilson) to shed 140 jobs, Davy Thompson, Regional Co-ordinating Officer for Unite, the union that organises the overwhelming majority of workers in the company, expressed his deep dismay at the decision, its timing and pointed to the need for a proactive response from Stormont politicians.
“We are very disappointed by these job-losses which will be felt across the company’s three production sites in Larne, Monkstown and Springvale. The timing of this announcement is particularly difficult for the workforce coming in the mouth of Christmas. Unite is committed to securing the very best possible terms for all our members affected by this decision.
“This is only the latest in a series of job-losses across Northern Ireland’s Manufacturing sector: over the last couple of months we have had large losses announced at both Bombardier and JTI-Lisnafillan.
“This announcement highlights the adequacy of existing employment protection, in particular for manufacturing and agency workers. There’s a need for Stormont politicians to take action to improve job security protections for workers.
“The scale of the job losses associated with this announcement is another hammer blow to the Northern Ireland economy and will inevitably lead to more joblessness through reduced overall spending.
“Since 2008, output from Northern Ireland’s manufacturing sector has shrunk by nine per cent which means many of those highly skilled workers who will lose their jobs will struggle to find employment. This decision reinforces the need for the NI Executive to initiate a substantial and wider industrial investment and manufacturing strategy to address the range of serious economic challenges we face.”