Manufacturing firm Caterpillar could axe over 80 jobs from its Larne plant

Caterpillar currently employs around 900 staff in Northern Ireland.

A manufacturing company says it may have to cut 83 jobs from its Larne plant if a decision to discontinue a particular generator is finalised.

Caterpillar in Larne mainly produces large electric power solutions - however, the company says demand for its UK-manufactured FG Wilson electric generator sets has decreased.

The firm says it therefore "contemplating discontinuing the manufacture of this product".

"This contemplation does not reflect on the dedicated efforts of our employees, and we recognise this represents difficult news," a spokesperson for Caterpillar said.

"We will consult on the intended actions with the appropriate representative groups.

"During the consultation process, the company will try to identify options, including redeployment, to minimise redundancies.

"The company also intends to offer severance packages and outplacement services to impacted employees,” the spokesperson added.

The firm currently employs around 900 staff in Northern Ireland.

In November 2020 the company announced it would be axing 700 jobs from its Larne plant.

At the time, the union Unite branded the announcement as a 'devastating blow' to Northern Ireland manufacturing and the Larne area economy.

Unite claimed that the move was a 'scandalous profit grab' at the expense of local workers, as production was set to be outsourced to India.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.