Fujitsu Belfast and Derry jobs at risk in 1,800 job cuts
Scores of jobs could be lost in Belfast in Londonderry as Fujitsu looks to shed 1,800 employees.
The Japanese-owned technology giant is slashing its workforce across the UK, including posts in both cities.
It employs around 800 staff across Northern Ireland, with around 500 of those based in Belfast and more than 200 in Londonderry.
Earlier this year, the firm announced it was planning to close its repair centre in Antrim, resulting in the loss of approximately 40 jobs.
Fujitsu said it was planning a "transformation programme" that would result in the loss of up to 1,800 jobs in the UK.
Trade union Unite said workers would be affected at Fujitsu's major sites, which include Belfast, Londonderry, Bracknell, Crewe, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington.
But the company and union have yet to indicate how many jobs could go here.
Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said yesterday it was "a worrying time for staff at Fujitsu in Belfast and Londonderry". "I have spoken to Fujitsu management today and intend to engage with senior decision-makers in Japan in the days and weeks ahead to emphasise to them the highly skilled workforce that exists in Northern Ireland, as well as the competitive costs and strong Government support that makes our region a good place for their company to continue to invest in," DUP MLA Mr Hamilton added.
The Japanese multinational information technology equipment and services company said it wanted to streamline operations to remain competitive. However, Unite said that the move was a "hammer blow" for workers who have "given their all" to make the UK subsidiary highly profitable.
The announcement is not linked to the vote to leave the EU, and is not driven by any domestic issues.
No jobs will go as a result of the programme until 2017.
The company said: "Fujitsu is planning a transformation programme that will enable it to better support customers in the era of digital transformation.
"The company today advised its employee representative forum of plans to restructure the organisation in order to provide better service and respond more quickly to customer needs.
"As part of the programme, Fujitsu plans to streamline operations in order to remain competitive in the market.
"Proposed measures include changes which would result in a reduction of up to 1,800 jobs in the UK.
"All affected employees will be offered guidance and support and Fujitsu is establishing a consultation process with elected employee representatives."