UUP – ULSTER UNIONIST PARTY : Beggs shocked at scale of job losses at FG … – 4

Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs Jnr has expressed his shock
at the scale of the job losses announced today by
engineering firm FG Wilson.

The East Antrim MLA said:

“In the wake of the initial announcement of redundancies at
FG Wilson, I met with their Northern Ireland Operations
Manager Robert Kennedy and other senior management at the
Larne factory earlier this summer.  I was made aware
of the pressures they were experiencing regarding their
smaller Generator sets, which had resulted in the
announcement of the earlier job losses and their decision
to establish a production facility in Asia. But like
everyone else, I have been shocked by this second
announcement and the scale of redundancies proposed. It
seems amazing that relatively recently the firm were
announcing significant profits, investing in new production
lines, and taking on extra staff. 

The factory in Larne has been a mainstay of the local
economy down the years with many families depending on the
jobs provided by GEC on the site and latterly FG
Wilsons.  Of course in the past there were
fluctuations in employment levels at the Larne site. 
It was as once the biggest turbine works in Europe when the
British Thomson Houston Company (BTH) built the Old Glenarm
Road factory back in 1957. This time however, I am
aware of concerns from employees that even more job losses
could be in the pipeline.  Given the lack of clarity
regarding the current redundancies I would call on the
company to make a clearer statement about the future
employment prospects for their remaining employees.”

Mr Beggs also called for action on job retention and
creation from the NI Executive at Stormont.  He said:

“The Stormont Executive also needs to step up and provide a
coherent economic strategy to actually deliver a
re-balanced economy, rather than just talking about
it.  The never ending talks about the possibility of
reducing Corporation Tax in Northern Ireland needs to come
to a conclusion one way or another.  The DUP has been
completely incoherent on this issue, with Enterprise
Minister Arlene Foster in favour of a reduction in the
rate, whilst her party and ministerial colleague Sammy
Wilson has never appeared fully committed to the idea. They
need to get their act together and make a decision on

The Executive and Invest NI also need to get their act
together to quickly re-establish a properly resourced local
business start-up programme.   The economy was
meant to be the number one priority for the NI Executive,
but quite frankly with the DUP and Sinn Fein in charge,
they appear to have been asleep at the wheel.  
The NI Executive must focus on the need of local economy
and local businesses so that real jobs can be created and
sustained into the future.   Too many of our
young people are already unemployed.   We need
more opportunities for them not less.”


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