We need to compete for industry leadership, says engineering firm

FG Wilson's Monkstown plant. INNT 27-027-FP
FG Wilson's Monkstown plant. INNT 27-027-FP
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FG WILSON has stressed that it is committed to Northern Ireland.

The company, which is owned by US firm Caterpillar, said it had taken the decision to move part of its manufacturing operation to China in order to remain competitive in the global market.

The company’s Northern Ireland operations director, Robert Kennedy said: “We value our employees’ contributions, and these actions are not a reflection of them, but rather of the business climate.

“We understand these decisions will be difficult for the lives of many of our workers and their families, and we genuinely regret that. We are striving to reduce some of the impact by offering an enhanced voluntary redundancy package.

“We’ll also help redeploy displaced workers by providing training on new skill sets, partnering with potential Northern Ireland employers to host job fairs and hiring a placement service.”

He added: “We realise the announcements we’re making affect a company that has a rich history in Northern Ireland.

“However, given our current structure and economic environment, portions of our portfolio are not competitive, and we need to react accordingly for long-term growth and to compete for industry leadership.

“Caterpillar is committed to building the remaining business in Northern Ireland and to working closely with local government, including Invest Northern Ireland, as we’re focused on keeping it competitive and sustainable for the future.”

Full coverage in this week’s Times...