Job losses at Caterpillar

Caterpillar announces up to 250 jobs are to be cut from its workforce as part of restructuring plans.

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Pressure on Stormont to save manufacturing jobs

The fall-out from the Caterpillar job cuts continues with pressure growing on Stormont to create a plan to prevent more job losses in the manufacturing sector.

The fresh calls come as talks are set to begin with the US firm in a bid to get the best financial deal for workers who are under threat.

UK government reacts to Caterpillar job losses

A statement from the UK government issued in response to the Caterpillar announcement said:

This is clearly a very worrying time for Caterpillar’s workers. We recognise the concern and the uncertainty that this will pose for families for those whose jobs may be at risk. The Northern Ireland Secretary has already had discussions with the Executive on how we can work together to help prevent future losses and bring new employment opportunities to Northern Ireland.

– UK government spokesperson

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Invest NI chief reacts to Caterpillar announcement

Chief Executive of Invest Northern Ireland Alastair Hamilton has also expressed disappointment at Caterpillar’s decision to reduce its regional workforce.

He added that Invest NI will continue to provide input and guidance to the company and work to provide whatever support possible to help affected staff.

Following Caterpillar’s announcement in September 2015 of the potential for up to 10,000 jobs to be lost globally, we have been maintaining regular contact with the company, both here and in the US, as it worked through its global restructuring.
The company has had to make some very difficult decisions, including the consolidation or closure of approximately 20 sites worldwide. Unfortunately the scale of market decline has meant that we have not been able to alter the company’s plans to consolidate its Northern Ireland operation from four to three sites, with Monkstown to close.

– Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive Invest NI

Antrim Mayor to lobby to help Caterpillar workers

Credit: Pacemaker

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor John Scott, said the announcement that Caterpillar is planning to close its Monkstown plant is “devastating for our Borough and for all those Caterpillar employees living locally”.

“My thoughts, and those of my fellow Councillors, are with them and their families as they face this awful news today. I can only imagine how worrying this is for the families involved,” the Ulster Unionist councillor said.

“It is unclear today exactly how this will pan out for the Monkstown employees and what options there maybe for relocation and continued employment with Caterpillar but as Mayor I will be lobbying hard to try to influence the situation in any way I can.”

Economy Minister expresses ‘deep disappointment’ over Caterpillar job losses

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA has expressed his regret that Caterpillar is to reduce its workforce in Northern Ireland, adding the plan to close the Monkstown plant is “deeply disappointing”.

The Economy Minister, pictured, was reacting after the news of up to 250 job losses at Caterpillar. Credit: Presseye

First and foremost I am mindful of the very direct and personal impact this devastating news will have upon the workers affected and their families. Manufacturing is vitally important to the local economy and we are facing significant challenges which are not unique to Northern Ireland as a result of global pressures, market slowdowns and business restructurings.

– Economy Minister Simon Hamilton

“Caterpillar are clearly experiencing a significant and sustained downturn in their business globally which has seen their revenues decline by 21% in the last five years. These job losses in Northern Ireland are part of the overall reduction of 10,000 staff across the company,” the Minister continued.

“The difficulties experienced by Caterpillar have been public knowledge for some time. As a result, we have intensified our engagement with the Company both locally and in the United States to ensure Caterpillar were fully briefed on the benefits as a manufacturing base and of the complete range of Government support available to them at this time.

“Between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2016 Invest NI has provided over £270million of assistance to manufacturing firms here and I am determined to continue to support our manufacturing sector. My Department’s Careers Service will provide individuals with tailored, professional advice and guidance about the options and support available to them including employment, training and education opportunities.”

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Caterpillar staff await update on company’s future

Staff at Caterpillar in Northern Ireland are expected to be given an update on the company’s future later this week.

It comes amid uncertainty over jobs at the US manufacturing firm.

Though few details are known at this stage, a spokesman for the company told UTV: “Caterpillar is committed to communicating regularly and directly with our employees about the business environment and any resulting changes.”

Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey said: "Uncertainty over the future of Caterpillar's operations in the north will be no doubt distressing for workers and their families.

"Staff have been told to expect an announcement later in the week and there has been much speculation about what it will entail.

"It is vitally important that management at Caterpillar keep all employees up to date with the latest information as soon as possible."

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