‘Job losses a bitter blow for the town’

SOUTH Antrim MP William McCrea has described Weber’s announcement that up to 27 people are to lose their jobs at its Ballyclare facility as “deeply disappointing news.”

“Such news is always disappointing at any time of year, but this is particularly regrettable given the close proximity to the festive season,” he commented.

“Unfortunately, this announcement is a sign of the difficult economic times within which companies like Saint-Gobain Weber are being forced to operate, and it is a bitter blow for those people who will lose their jobs, all of whom will have financial commitments and families to support.

“Ballyclare is a very close knit community and these job losses will be keenly felt.

“I welcome the fact that the company is committed to retraining and offering full outplacement support to those staff who are affected by this announcement, and I trust that support will also be forthcoming from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the other relevant statutory agencies to assist those leaving Saint-Gobain Weber to find suitable, alternative employment within the shortest timeframe possible,” the DUP man said.

His party colleague, Trevor Clarke MLA, added: “This is very disappointing news for a firm which has been in business since 1972, and it is extremely worrying for the 27 people affected, especially so close to Christmas.

“I am encouraged that Saint-Gobain Weber has agreed to make provision to redeploy and retrain some of the 27 people affected, and I would hope that the remainder will soon be able to obtain new employment.”

At the council’s Policy and Governance Committee meeting on Monday evening (November 19), Ballyclare councillor Pat McCudden raised the issue of job losses at Weber and Ballymena-based construction firm Pattons.

Expressing regret that so many local families will be affected by the cutbacks, the Alliance representative urged the council to do everything it can to support those who’ve lost their jobs or are facing the prospect of redundancy.