Northern Ireland

Caterpillar: 100 jobs to go at NI operations

Caterpillar logo Image copyright AP

One hundred jobs are to go at the Northern Ireland operations of Caterpillar, the company has said.

It is a triple blow for the manufacturing industry, with redundancies announced at two other American-owned firms.

Caterpillar employs about 2,000 people in plants at Larne, west Belfast and Monkstown.

The union, Unite, said 2,500 high-value manufacturing jobs have been lost in Northern Ireland in the past year.

Half of the posts at the US engineering firm are full-time staff, the others are agency contract workers.

Image copyright @julianoneill

On Wednesday, US firm Schrader Electronics said it was cutting 42 jobs from its plant at Carrickfergus, County Antrim.

It also emerged that textile maker Invista is seeking 48 redundancies at Maydown in Londonderry.

In September, Caterpillar said it would cut up to 5,000 jobs by the end of 2016.

"Current weaknesses in the economies of some key markets are impacting on global demand for a number of our products," a company statement said.

Image copyright @JP_Biz

Last month, it announced it was cutting 20 management and supervisor roles in Northern Ireland.

Caterpillar has been hit by the collapse of commodity prices that have affected its key customers in the mining and energy sectors.

Falling revenues

It expects sales revenues to fall for a fourth year in a row this year, the first time that has happened in the firm's history.

In response, it is looking to reduce annual costs by $1.5bn by the end of 2016.

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Media captionDavy Thompson from Unite called on the minister to be pro-active about the current loss of manufacturing jobs

The company said it was "taking necessary measures to help support the competitiveness and sustainability of the business for the future".

Since 2011, the firm has shed more than 1,000 staff in Northern Ireland.

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