Newtownabbey job losses: Situation branded a ‘double blow’

Image taken from Google StreetView showing the outside of Schlumberger in Newtownabbey
Image taken from Google StreetView showing the outside of Schlumberger in Newtownabbey

Political representatives from across the region have offered support to people impacted by the news of mass job losses at local firms.

East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson has expressed deep regret at the potential loss of hundreds of jobs in south and east Antrim.

The Alliance representative was speaking following the announcement by Williams Industrial Services it had gone into administration, with the loss of the majority of its 145 staff immediately.

In a separate incident, the Unite union claimed Schlumberger’s Newtownabbey plant will be closing, with the loss of around 200 jobs, after the company rejected a rescue bid by local management.

Mr Dickson said: “This news is deeply troubling, and my first thought is with the workers and their families who will be affected by this.

“This is no reflection on the staff at Williams or Schlumberger, or their skills. Despite the valiant efforts by employees and trade unions, there will now be many who are worried about the future of their employment.

“It is crucial anyone made redundant receives support and guidance to assist them with their next steps, and help them to find other suitable employment. That action is of course sadly made more difficult with the lack of an Executive in place.”

Commenting on the potential job losses, North Belfast MLA, Nichola Mallon said the news was a “double blow.”

The SDLP representative said: “The announcement that local engineering firm Williams Industrial Services has gone into administration with immediate job losses is devastating.

“This news, coupled with reports of the breakdown in talks to save the Schlumberger factory in Newtownabbey, is a double blow for workers and their families, and the manufacturing sector.

“It is important that all possible assistance is given to the workers at Williams Industrial Services by the Department for Economy and Invest NI to ensure they get all they are entitled to, and they are supported to find alternative employment quickly.

“It is also imperative that management and the union side get back round the table to see if the talks to save jobs at the Schlumberger plant can be salvaged. The SDLP is here to play whatever part we can to help save these jobs.”

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Cllr Paul Hamill, has spoken about the announcements of job losses by Williams Industrial Services in Mallusk and the situation at Schlumberger.

The Macedon DUP representative said: “The announcement is terrible news for our borough. These job losses will affect our residents and my thoughts are with the employees and their families. This will be a very worrying time for everyone concerned.”