MLAs seeking answers on FG Wilson job cuts

LOCAL elected representatives have held urgent talks with senior management staff at FG Wilson to discuss the recent announcement of major job losses at the company.

As reported in last week’s Larne Times, up to 260 job are set to go by the end of the year at the generator manufacturing plants in Larne, Monkstown and Springvale. Most of the redundancies are expected to be at the Larne factory.

The three DUP East Antrim MLAs Sammy Wilson, David Hilditch and Alastair Ross met with senior management this week to receive an update on the current situation and to ask questions about the job losses, the timing and the consultation period.

In a joint statement, the trio said: “During the meeting we asked where the job losses would occur, and which production lines would be effected, as well as ascertaining what support has been offered by the Department for Employment and Learning as well as Invest NI.

“We also reassured the company of our support and offered assistance in getting Government to support the company maintain competitiveness internationally in these challenging economic circumstances.

“FG Wilson is a hugely important employer in the East Antrim area, and it is important that management, workers and government work together to ensure the continued success of the company.”

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin East Antrim MLA Oliver McMullan met with Robert Kennedy, director of international operations at FG Wilsons in Larne.

He said: “Mr Kennedy has promised that the number of redundancies will be kept to a minimum and that they will be spread across several plants including the ones at Larne, Springvale and Monkstown.

“I pressed upon Mr Kennedy the need to ensure the rights of the those being made unemployed and asked what measures the company will take to retrain these people.

“We also discussed what measures can be taken both at local and governmental level to protect the future of these plants.”

Mr McMullan added he was now calling on FG Wilson to make their workforce aware of the amount of redundancies and what plants will be effected as soon as possible to allow staff to make plans to find alternative employment.