The loss of 270 jobs at Sensatata Technologies is a “serious blow to Carrickfergus”.
That’s the view of East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson who is to meet with management of the company today.
Mr Wilson said: “This announcement follows a reduction in Sensata’s workforce in Carrickfergus by 125 back in 2018. At that time it reflected lower demand within the European market for the products made in Carrick and this announcement again today reflects a worsening of that situation.
“The worldwide problems facing the automotive industry have been well documented but this announcement is a serious blow to Carrickfergus. It represents a very bleak start to the year for many families in the area and my thoughts are with all those who are employed at the plant and who now face an uncertain future.”
In a joint statment, Mr Wilson’s DUP MLA colleagues Gordon Lyons and David Hilditch added: “The news represents a reminder of why we need to get Northern Ireland moving forward again and to have a focus on securing jobs and building our economy. Everyone in particular would like to see a functioning Executive back in place to take decisions that could assist in such economic development.
“The company have said that it will engage with staff during which proposed alternatives to compulsory redundancy will be considered. I would hope that some staff might be able to take up such opportunities but it is important that government assists all those facing redundancy with advice and retraining wherever possible.”
UUP MLA John Stewart said the announcement the Meadowbank Road site in the Co Antrim town is to shut early next year was a “hammer blow”.
He added: “I have been speaking to several employees at the company this morning who have confirmed the bad news and are obviously devastated.
“I know the company have stated that they will be offering help to the 270 people set to lose their jobs with career transition support during an upcoming consultation period. I would call on the local council to reactivate their manufacturing taskforce immediately to offer help and practical advice to workers in Carrickfergus, in the same way as they did for workers in Ballymena affected by redundancies at Michelin, JTI and Wrightbus in recent years.
“Any incoming minister with responsibility for the economy at Stormont needs to put replacing these manufacturing jobs on the top of their agenda. We need to see implementation of a manufacturing strategy.”
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