Foster meets Caterpillar boss to discuss FG Wilson job cuts

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster this week met with Bill Rohner, Vice President of Caterpillar's Electric Power Division to discuss job cuts at FG Wilson. The Minister was accompanied at the meeting in Chicago by her Assembly Private Secretary, Alastair Ross MLA.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster this week met with Bill Rohner, Vice President of Caterpillar's Electric Power Division to discuss job cuts at FG Wilson. The Minister was accompanied at the meeting in Chicago by her Assembly Private Secretary, Alastair Ross MLA.

ENTERPRISE Minister Arlene Foster this week met with Bill Rohner, Vice President of Caterpillar’s Electric Power Division to discuss the way ahead following the company’s recent announcement that 760 people are to lose their jobs at FG Wilson.

The Minister, who was accompanied by Invest NI Chief Executive Alastair Hamilton and Assembly Private Secretary Alastair Ross, said the meeting had been useful.

“I felt it was important to meet with Bill Rohner while I was in the US to discuss the company’s recent decision in more detail and to identify any opportunities to mitigate job losses,” Mrs Foster said.

“Invest Northern Ireland has been working with management to build its capability to focus on higher added-value activities and identify and exploit new business opportunities.

“During the meeting, Alastair Hamilton and I outlined the support available in a number of areas, including Research & Development and training. We also wanted to identify if there are other functions within the group’s global operations which could competitively be serviced from a Northern Ireland base.

“Potential options were discussed, and Invest NI will continue to work closely with Caterpillar to explore them.”

Meanwhile, responding to last week’s devastating announcement of mass job losses at FG Wilson’s Monkstown, Larne and Springvale plants, local councillors have given their backing to an ‘East Antrim Taskforce’ being set up to provide practical help and support to workers who are facing redundancy.

The taskforce will include representation from Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus and Larne Councils, along with relevant support agencies and private sector representatives.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...