Seagate seek more than 100 voluntary redundancies from Springtown factory site

More than 100 jobs are set to be axed from one of Londonderry's largest employer, according to Unite.

The union said the company is to seek "unnecessary and unjustified" voluntary redundancies at the Springtown site.

It comes just weeks after US special envoy Joseph Kennedy II highlighted the plant's vital role.

Seagate told UTV the job cuts are part of "a global workforce reduction, which is one of the most difficult decisions a leadership team undertakes". 

Unite said Seagate management informed workers on Thursday afternoon that it is seeking redundancies from a workforce of 1,600.

According to the union, management said move was part of a retrenchment package which has also included wage cuts.

The factory at Springtown creates a critical recording head component which goes into one in every four hard disk drives in the world.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: "There’s no real justification for redundancies or attacks on workers’ pay.

"It seems that while workers must pay the price of short-term production problems there are no issues with paying out large dividends to shareholders. Yet again workers are being asked to pay the price. 

"The best way to defend themselves against threats to jobs and pay is for workers who are not already members to join a union and support our application for collective negotiation rights and recognition at the site.”

Meanwhile Unite's Regional Officer Brenda Stevenson said the move contrasted the company’s decision with recent comments by the US special envoy to Northern Ireland, Joe Kennedy.

“This afternoon’s announcement by Seagate that they will seek over 100 redundancies is in stark contrast with Joe Kennedy’s recent statement, when he singled out Seagate as exemplifying US commitment to the Northern Ireland economy.  Job losses of this nature are simply unacceptable”, Ms Stevenson concluded.

In a statement Seagate told UTV: "As noted in our FY23 Q3 Earnings press release on April 20, 2023, Seagate announced a restructuring programme to reduce our cost structure in response to changes in macroeconomic and business conditions. 

"These actions include a global workforce reduction, which is one of the most difficult decisions a leadership team undertakes. 

"Our goal is to take these next steps in a thoughtful manner and work collectively with employees.  

"Seagate has over 30 years of investment and partnership in NI, establishing the facility as a world leading resource in nano-manufacturing and technology research. The team continues to play a significant role as we invest in mass capacity data solutions driving our future growth". 

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