06/02/2002

Empey discusses job losses in Carrickfergus

Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, has met representatives from Carrickfergus Borough Council to discuss the effects of redundancies in the East Antrim area.

Focusing in particular on job losses at Solectron and C MAC which together are set to lose over 200 jobs, the Minister said the extent of the job losses were extremely regrettable and a result of the global downturn in the telecoms markets.

Outlining to the delegation the IDB’s position in the present circumstances, Sir Reg said: "I am encouraged by the fact that Solectron is maintaining a presence in Northern Ireland, and IDB will continue to work with the company and to explore methods to rebuild employment levels at the Carrickfergus plant.

"Although we cannot predict when the economy will start to recover from the downturn in the telecoms industry, it is vital that we stand ready to respond to any future recovery and that we have a solid base to work from. The IDB will continue to market the East Antrim area to potential investors.

"It is also important that we continue to focus on small business activity which provides around 60 per cent of employment in the area. There are a number of very successful small companies around Carrickfergus and LEDU is working on the ground, helping these companies to grow and develop."

US based company Solectron is planning to close its factory in Carrickfergus and has issued its entire workforce with 90-day redundancy notices.

The company says changing economic conditions and customer demand mean the plant has been unprofitable for more than a year and is no longer viable. (MB)

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