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East Antrim DUP representatives Sammy Wilson MP, Gordon Lyons MLA and David Hilditch MLA have described the announcement of 700 job losses at Caterpillar in Larne as a ‘devastating blow’.

In a joint statement they said:

“The news of 700 job losses at Caterpillar is a devastating blow for local workers, their families and manufacturing jobs in Larne. The sheer scale of the proposed job cuts will shock the community and leave many facing an uncertain future as we approach the Christmas period.

We will be raising these job losses at Westminster, Assembly and Local Government level to ensure that all the necessary information and support which employees deserve is provided to them.

Given the global nature of Caterpillar, it is also important that Invest NI engage directly with the company to identify if there are any circumstances were jobs can be retained or if jobs from within the company could be identified and brought to the Larne site. In the past, fabrication and administration jobs were identified and transferred to Larne and it is important that all options are explored.

There is never a good time to learn of job losses on this scale, but the pain will be particularly acute given the time of year and the economic shock which has been cause by Covid-19. Working with our colleague, the Economy Minister, we will make sure that those affected get the support and advice they need at this difficult time”.