Caterpillar to cut up to 250 jobs in NI

Credit: Presseye

Manufacturing company Caterpillar has announced the potential loss of up to 250 jobs in Northern Ireland.

The US firm said production, support and management positions could be affected, as part of a major restructuring.

It said it will be looking at closing its Monkstown facility and moving some of its functions to its other two bases in Larne and Springvale.

The changes are expected to begin to take effect this year and would be completed within in the next 12 to 24 months, the firm added.

Somewhere between 200 and 250 jobs are at risk.

Caterpillar said: “We recognise that what we are considering is difficult for our employees, their families and the communities where they live and work.

“Despite these contemplated actions, we remain committed to Northern Ireland.”

The company said the restructuring is part of its ongoing plans to reduce costs “in response to current economic and business conditions”.

It added that it is also considering discontinuing production of 25 ton and larger material handlers in NI, including the planned launch of large material handler models for Europe.

With the closure of the Monkstown plant, Caterpillar expects production for electric power generator sets to be consolidated into Larne.

Production of truck axles will move into Springvale, it said.

Caterpillar employs around 1,800 staff in Northern Ireland and employees were told earlier this week to expect an update on its future plans.

A spokesperson added: “After consultation with employees and their representatives, any redundant employees will receive severance packages from the company and outplacement services from appropriate agencies to ensurethey have support during this transition.”