The company, based in Larne and Belfast, specialise in making diesel and gas generator sets, said the announcement was part of plans to keep its business competitive.
The company said it will restructure the business beginning with a two-month evaluation of its salaried and management team, which could add up to another 100 job losses.
F G Wilson transferring work to China
— Jamie Delargy (@Jamie_utv) July 2, 2012
It says production of its 400 series generator sets is to be moved to Tianjin, China, in order to build the product closer to its growing customer base.
The move, which will begin later this year, will affect approximately 160 members of the agency workforce in Northern Ireland.
The agency worker losses are expected to take place by the end of the year.
A spokesperson for the union Unite said the jobs cuts came “as a bolt out of the blue”
He said: “We have no further information other than that given by the company to the press which has come as a bolt out of the blue.
“Unite the Union shop stewards will now be entering a 90-day consultation period with the company.”
East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs has described the job losses as “deeply concerning.”
“We simply cannot afford to be exporting jobs rather than products to China or anywhere else.
“Throughout the current recession, the continued success of FG Wilson has been a beacon of hope for the local economy.”
The Ulster Unionist MLA said the job losses will be devastating for the families affected.
“We need to ensure that everything possible is done to assist those concerned and to maintain local engineering jobs, particularly such valuable export originated manufacturing jobs.”
Stewart Dickson, Alliance MLA for the area, has expressed his sadness over the job cuts.
“This is very sad news that such a large amount of jobs will be lost in Larne. It will also have a knock on effect on secondary companies in the area who benefited from the large workforce at FG Wilson.”
He added: “These job losses just show how unstable the global economy can be.
“I will be seeking a meeting with the management of FG Wilson about these job losses and the restructuring of their firm which has resulted in them moving production to China.”
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