Mayor sympathises with workers affected by Michelin closure

The Michelin factory in Ballymena. Pic by Press Eye
The Michelin factory in Ballymena. Pic by Press Eye

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Thomas Hogg, has said his thoughts are with the hundreds of workers affected by the announcement that Michelin is to close its factory in Ballymena.

The tyre manufacturer confirmed on Tuesday that it will shut the plant in mid-2018, with the loss of nearly 900 jobs.

Many of the factory’s 860 workers live in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area.

“My thoughts are with the employees and their families, who are affected due to the closure of the Michelin factory in Ballymena. This leads on from the announcement of the closure of the JTI factory last year and will affect a large number of employees who are residents of our borough,” Cllr Hogg said.

“It is a very sad situation and extremely disappointing however I can only be hopeful that as the business is continuing to trade until 2018, those affected will be able to explore other options available to them.”

The closure of the factory forms part of a restructuring plan that will see Michelin invest in its facilities in Dundee and Stoke-on-Trent.

The company said the decision had been taken due to a “significant downturn” in demand for truck tyres since the financial crisis of 2007.

Employees at the Raceview Road plant returned to work today after being given yesterday off to come to terms with the news that the facility is to close.