Northern Ireland

Fujitsu job cuts: Northern Ireland 'will be impacted' says union

Fujitsu stand Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fujitsu employs 800 people in Northern Ireland and 14,000 across the UK

Trade union Unite has said Northern Ireland will be impacted by Fujitsu's plan to cut up to 1,800 jobs in the UK.

The plan, which could see the first workers leaving in early 2017, is not linked to Brexit, the Japanese company said.

The Japanese electronics firm employs 800 people in Northern Ireland, 550 in Belfast and 250 in Londonderry.

The union and the company say the precise number of jobs to go in NI will be determined at a later stage.

In March, Fujitsu announced that 40 employees faced redundancy as it was closing its maintenance and repair centre in Antrim.

It said following a review, it was transferring the work to Belfast, and Solihull in England.

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said it remained to be seen how many Northern Ireland employees would be affected.

"It's my job alongside the unions, alongside the management here in Northern Ireland to impress upon senior decision makers in Tokyo that we do have a good skills base here which is reflected in the Fujitsu employees here in Northern Ireland," he said.

Mr Hamilton said he would try to convince them, that "there's a low cost of doing business here in Northern Ireland, that there is a good level of government support and that Northern Ireland remains a good place for them to be invested in".

Digital transformation

On Tuesday, Fujitsu, which has 14,000 UK staff, said the job losses would be across its UK offices as it looks to compete better with foreign rivals that offer IT services more cheaply.

The firm has a range of businesses in the UK, from software services to providing air conditioning units.

Fujitsu said in a statement that it is planning a "transformation programme" which will enable it to "better support customers in the era of digital transformation".

It added: "Fujitsu plans to streamline operations in order to remain competitive in the market. Proposed measures include changes which would result in a reduction of up to 1,800 jobs in the UK."

The company will consult with staff in the coming months and job cuts will be staggered across 12 to 18 months, a spokesman said.

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