Belfast Telegraph

More job losses in black day for local economy

By Lisa Smyth

Workers at two Northern Ireland companies have been hit by job blows during another rough day for the local economy.

The management of BE Aerospace (UK) Ltd has announced proposed redundancies at its Kilkeel facility in Co Down reducing its workforce from 651 employees to 563 with the loss of 88 jobs.

A spokesman from the company said the commercial aerospace industry continues to experience the negative effects of a sustained global recession.

He added: “International airlines report significant declines in passenger traffic and pricing levels, particularly among their higher yielding business segments. Our airline and airframe customers have adopted stringent cash conservation measures including pushing out retrofit programmes, deferring aircraft refurbishment and taking inventory de-stocking measures which have reduced demand for our product and services.

“The impact of this on the Kilkeel facility is the continued phasing of customer orders whereby orders are being pushed out through 2009 and possibly beyond. The company in response to these market forces must reduce the number of employees at the Kilkeel site. We are therefore proposing to reduce our current headcount of 651 employees by 88 to 563 employees.”

The company spokesman added that it will immediately commence consultations with employee representatives to discuss the implications of this move.

Meanwhile, an east Belfast engineering company has folded with the loss of around 50 jobs.

Central Group Services, one of Northern Ireland's leading providers of mechanical and electrical services such as central heating and air conditioning installation and maintenance, also employed 20 people in the Irish Republic. The company, established in 1994 and based in the Dee Street area, blamed the current recession for its downfall.

Staff had been called together and told of their redundancies 24 hours before the public announcement yesterday.

In a statement bosses said: “Due to the current economic conditions, the directors of Central Group Services Ltd have regrettably taken the decision, following legal and professional advice, to cease trading immediately and to commence the process of winding up the company as soon as is reasonably practicable.”

It added: “Every action was taken by directors to mitigate this action in an attempt to preserve the employment of all staff.”

Belfast Telegraph