27/09/2002

400 jobs go in Belfast and Carrickfergus

It has been a poor day for the local economy with the announcement that a total of 375 jobs are to be lost at two major companies.

Staff at Shorts where hit with the news that 240 jobs are to go at the east Belfast site. This brings to almost 1,000 the number of people who have lost their jobs at the company in the past 12 months.

In a statement, Vice-President and General Manager of Bombardier Aerospace Northern Ireland, Michael Ryan expressed his "regret" at the move. He said that the cuts were necessary due to the "continuing challenges in the aviation market".

He added: "We are ensuring that a strong integrated design and manufacturing capability is retained here in order to maintain our competitiveness and to be ready for the upturn in the market when it comes."

Mr Ryan repeated Bombardier's position – which it expressed at the last round of job cuts – that Belfast is "a core part of Bombardier’s aerospace business".

The jobs cull is not exclusive to Northern Ireland as a total of 1,980 employees, including 20% of management, are to be laid off at facilities in Canada, the US and the UK, beginning in October 2002.

Only three weeks ago, Shorts announced 461 jobs losses and blamed the cuts on the "reduction in our production activity caused by the effects on our customers of the world economic downturn and the impact of September 11th". A spokesman went on to say that Shorts would still have "major involvement" in the Global 5000 and Learjet 40 aircraft.

However, there was no such comfort this time round, as Bombardier also said that it planned to "temporarily" cut back production on some of its aircraft programmes in Belfast, where business aircraft component manufacturing will be affected.

Elsewhere, Getty Communications has announced that 135 jobs are to go following the closure of its Carrickfergus factory.

Managing director Brian Getty blamed "continuous operating losses" which made it "unlikely that a viable business could be sustained".

Commenting on the news, the Alliance Party's East Antrim assembly member, Sean Neeson, said: "Once again, a local business that has been bought over by a multinational company is losing out because of loss of profits elsewhere in the company. It's a big blow for Carrickfergus."

Mr Neeson added that he will be meeting with Enterprise Minister Sir Reg Empey on Tuesday to discuss the impact of the closure.

The firm is to begin a 90-day consultation period when it will explore alternatives to closure.

(GMcG)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

04 December 2019
Belfast Harbour Named Best Cruise Port
Following a record year for cruise tourism to Northern Ireland, Belfast Harbour has been named the best port of call in the UK and Ireland for cruise ships. The accolade was awarded by a global panel of cruise experts as part of the 2019 Cruise Critic Editors' Pick Awards.
28 November 2019
Snow Patrol Cancel Belfast Shows
Snow Patrol have said they've been forced to cancel two shows in Belfast this week due to illness. The gigs were set to take place on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 at the Waterfront Hall as part of their 'Reworked' tour. They were cancelled just one day after the band said they were "gutted" to have cancelled a show in Dublin.
05 December 2019
'Disgust' Over Sectarian Attacks In North Belfast
A number of sectarian attacks have been carried out on homes in a social housing development in north Belfast. Windows were smashed and a flag hung on a property in Tyndale Gardens, Ballysillan this week. It comes after graffiti was sprayed on another property in the area.
29 November 2019
Pair Arrested As £2,500 Worth Of Cannabis Seized
Two men aged in their twenties have been arrested after the discovery of suspected herbal cannabis worth £2,500 in north Belfast. District Support officers stopped a vehicle in the Limestone Road area shortly before 12.30am on Thursday morning, 28 November.
13 June 2006
1,000 jobs to be created in Belfast
Around 1,000 jobs are to be created in Belfast, it has been announced. Indian company, ICICI OneSource, one of the country's largest business processing outsourcing (BPO) firms, is to open a call centre in the city, creating over 1,000 jobs over the next two-years.