Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Economic slowdown is ‘hitting jobs hard’

An MLA member warned today that the economic slowdown was now having a significant impact on jobs across Northern Ireland.

Mid-UIster SDLP representative Patsy McGlone was commenting after it was disclosed that two major employers in the Toomebridge area are shedding jobs.

Creagh Concrete, which has a total workforce of 450, has reduced its company-wide workforce by 90 over the past two months.

And SDC Trailers, which employs 300 at its site, located less than a mile away from Creagh Concrete, said it was carrying out redundancy consultations.

Both companies say the economic slowdown, which has reduced their business, has left them with no option but to reduce staffing levels.

Mr McGlone said: “I am extremely concerned about the developments at Creagh Concrete and SDC Trailers, both of whom are long-established employers in the area.

“The problem is the slowdown in the economy and, in particular, the decline in the construction industry on one hand and the haulage sector on the other.”

Neil Ward, a director at Creagh Concrete, said the 90 jobs which had been shed since August had affected the firm’s plants at Toome, Ardboe, Newry and in Britain.

“As everyone knows, the construction sector is going through a dramatic downturn and we are suffering the effects,” he said.

“Our redundancy programme has been completed but we are keeping the situation under review.”

Jane Millar, HR manager at SDC Trailers, said the market for commercial vehicles in the UK had slowed down.

“It is with regret that I can confirm that we are in the process of carrying out redundancy consultations at our Toomebridge site,” she added.

“This decision has been taken to reflect the need to ensure that resource levels are in line with current order levels. We are unable to confirm numbers at this stage as the process is still ongoing.”