Mr Wilson said,
“First and foremost, we think of those who are facing into the uncertainty of changing jobs after years of service in FG Wilson and then Caterpillar. I am deeply disappointed for them and their families.
In recent months manufactures across East Antrim have been speaking of the labour shortages, therefore I am hopeful that many of these skilled workers will be able to find alternative employment. I want to work with the local agencies to help in any way with facilitating people to transition and find new roles.
These sites once employed 3000 people, yet Caterpillar’s workforce has now reduced to around 800. Given the site size and the numbers now working there, I have raised the sustainability of the site and I am seeking further assurances on this aspect.
This reduction, I have been assured, is not a case of relocating work but rather this was a discontinuation of the line for this model of generator.
Undoubtedly energy costs are a factor for all manufacturers. Caterpillar will be no different. These jobs once again highlight the importance of the Government helping reduce energy bills for all sectors by introducing affordable plans, protecting our UK energy security and axing crippling green taxes.”