Closure of Crane Stock Valve site in East Belfast demonstrates need for Executive focus on manufacturing

08663 redundancies at East Belfast site sought at US valve manufacturer withdraws production from Northern Ireland  

Announcement is latest blow to Northern Ireland manufacturing and the economy of East Belfast

Unite Regional Officer George Brash, confirmed that his union had been informed of the run-down and closure of Crane Stock Valve’s manufacturing base in East Belfast over a twenty-four month period.

“Crane Stock Valve employs 89 employees – principally around its manufacturing base in East Belfast. Today’s announcement confirms that the US-owned business wishes to withdraw production from Northern Ireland and commences a thirty-day consultation period on the proposal.

“If it proceeds, this announcement will result in 63 redundancies commencing in early 2021 and finishing by November of that year. The workers have a collective agreement in place which provides for enhanced redundancy pay but the loss of these jobs represents another blow for Northern Ireland manufacturing and the local economy in East Belfast.

“When it was last up-and-running, the Northern Ireland Executive refused to bring forward a strategy for the manufacturing sector. The absence of such a strategy – with real actions to defend jobs and skills – left Northern Ireland industry defenceless in a period of mounting challenge. This announcement reinforces the urgency of the newly re-established Executive to reconsider its approach and bring forward a Manufacturing Strategy for Northern Ireland.

“For its part, the company are citing global competition, market pricing pressure and financial performance in Belfast as justification for their decision but it seems likely that this is really about the race-to-the-bottom in production going to lower cost locations.

“Unite will be engaging with our shop stewards at the company and with our wider membership to identify our response to today’s announcement and next steps ahead”, Mr Brash concluded.

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