Ulster Unionist Economy Spokesperson John Stewart MLA has called on the Economy Minister to take action following the news that 700 jobs are to go at the Caterpillar plant in Larne. In particular, the East Antrim MLA has urged the Minister to bring forward the long-overdue manufacturing strategy.
John Stewart MLA said:
“The news that over the next 18 months up to 700 jobs are to go at the Caterpillar plant in Larne is devastating news not just for the workers and their families, but for the town and the wider East Antrim area.
“The Company is planning these redundancies over the next 18 months so it is vital that the Economy Minister Diane Dodds and Invest NI meet with senior management now to see what can be done to mitigate the losses. It is also essential that the Council’s Manufacturing Task Force steps up to work with Caterpillar employees to provide support and signposting to new training opportunities.
“On Monday in the Assembly the Ulster Unionist Party is bringing forward a motion recognising the great challenges facing local manufacturing industry and calling on the Economy Minister to detail the short to medium support measures that will be put in place to support the manufacturing sector through the Covid-19 pandemic. The motion also calls on the Minister to produce the long-overdue manufacturing strategy to help the long-term recovery of, and growth within the sector.
“Monday’s debate has to be the last time the issue of a manufacturing strategy is merely debated, because the time for talking has to stop. What we need now is action to implement a strategy to protect manufacturing jobs.”