30/01/2004

Dismay at loss of Victor Stationary jobs

There has been dismay at the news that Victor Stationery has decided to close its manufacturing operation in Castlereagh, Northern Ireland with the loss of 150 jobs.

Responding to the announcement Senior Ulster Unionist Sir Reg Empey said: “I am deeply shocked, this news has come as a surprise. I have been in touch with Minister Pearson’s office to find out if his department or Invest NI had been asked for help by Victor’s Stationery and what help, if any, has been forthcoming.

“As a Minister I toured the factory and was impressed by both the manufacturing process and the workforce. Today’s development is extremely disturbing for the manufacturing sector.”

Victor Stationery announced yesterday that the firm has decided to relocate its manufacturing facilities to Estonia.

Trade union representatives confirmed the news on Thursday afternoon following meetings with the management of Victor Stationery.

Although the manufacturing plant at Marshalls Road will close, the company will retain a head office in Belfast.

Victor Stationery, formed in 1882 by Robert McClay, is the largest exercise book manufacturer in the UK, as well as producing a wide range of other educational stationery products.

The company blamed intense competition from eastern Europe and has said that relocation represents the only viable option for the firm.

(SP/CL)

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