Derry Seagate jobs safe as firm plans to shed 6,500 staff
Jobs at Seagate Technology's plant in Londonderry will not be included in the company's plan to cut its global workforce by 14% by the end of next year.
More than 1,300 people are employed at the Springtown site, where speculation was sparked about job losses after the business announced on Tuesday that it planned to reduce its number of employees by 6,500.
But fears were eased when the company moved to reassure local workers they were not included in the restructuring plan.
"Further to Seagate's July 11 global restructuring announcement, which referenced a reduction in global headcount by approximately 6,500 employees, I would like to take this opportunity to confirm that Seagate Springtown will not be affected by this phase of restructuring," a spokesman for the firm said.
In May, 70 jobs were lost in Derry - mostly through voluntary redundancies - after Seagate reduced its overall number of staff by 5%.
The cutback came as the company attempted to adapt to a drop in demand for the hard disc drives it produces, with a significant portion of computer devices, including mobile phones and tablets, switching to portable flash-based storage.
Liam Gallagher, from the Unite Union, said that the news would come as a huge relief to workers at the plant. "This will be great news for the workers at the Springtown site to know their jobs are safe, and they won't be affected by the company's decision to cut staff numbers worldwide," Mr Gallagher explained.
"The impact on further losses to the north-west's manufacturing industry could have been catastrophic, so I am really pleased at the commitment the company has shown to its workforce here."
SDLP councillor John Boyle said the protection of more than 1,300 jobs was further evidence of the company's commitment to the city.
"This news is very welcome, and workers at the plant will no doubt breathe a huge sigh of relief to know their jobs have been protected," he added.
"This is surely recognition by Seagate of the dedicated and skilled staff they have in Derry and the contribution they make to its global operation.
"It is also an indication that Seagate remains committed to the city.
"Hopefully, it will be successful in adapting to the change in the market of data storage and it will maintain its presence in the city and grow its contribution to the local economy even more."
Seagate Technology arrived in Derry in 1993, and was among only a few foreign companies prepared to locate in the north-west.