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Jobs threat to 70 Seagate staff in Northern Ireland

By Jonny Bell

Technology company Seagate has confirmed around 70 jobs are to be lost at its Londonderry site in Northern Ireland.

Seagate designs, manufactures and markets storage devices for computer systems, including hard drives, solid state drives and hybrid drives.

Last month the global giant's stock fell as it reported a profit loss. Revenues for the first three months of 2016 totalled $2.3bn with profit down $21m from last year's $291m profit.

Sales of hard drives were among hardest hit. The company sold some 39m disk drives in the first quarter of the year compared to 45m in last quarter of 2015 and 50m in the same period last year.

The company employs almost 1,400 at its Springtown, Londonderry site. There it develops and manufactures read-write heads for hard disk drives.

This manufacturing operation has been recognised as the UK's most advanced nanotechnology manufacturing facility.

A company spokeswoman said: "As indicated in recent public statements related to our latest earnings announcement, Seagate is undertaking a number of actions to better position the company for success and growth and to respond to new demand levels within the industry.

"These new levels are a result of a very dynamic and disrupted storage industry, driven by accelerating usage shifts of technologies and architectures by end users, and underpinned by a weak macro-economic environment.

"Unfortunately the required actions include some reduction in the company's workforce.

"It is not easy to make decisions that affect people's lives in ​this way, but we believe this is the best way forward for the company right now.

"At the Springtown facility, approximately 70 employees (about 5% of our headcount) will be affected by this action. It is our intention to use both a voluntary and involuntary process to achieve the headcount reduction."

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