Up to 20 jobs are under threat at information technology giant Fujitsu after it announced proposals for the planned restructuring of premises in Londonderry.
The Japanese firm confirmed yesterday that negotiations are taking place over the future of its Business and Applications division at its city centre operation.
A total of 189 people are employed by the company at its Timber Quay base.
There are 45 in the section facing redundancies.
Liam Gallagher, secretary of Derry Trades Council, said: “The proposed restructuring could lead to a possible 20 redundancies.
“A consultation process is under way which started on the February 20.
“It is a statutory requirement when up to 20 people are involved for the company to provide 30 days notice of any redundancies.”
Mr Gallagher went on to say that the union’s aim during ongoing negotiations was to try to avoid compulsory redundancies by looking for alternatives such as retraining or re-deployment.
“This is extremely bad news due to the nature of employment there” he said.
“These are the types of jobs that Derry wants and needs.
“Although 20 jobs doesn’t seem a huge dent it is a drip-drip process requiring urgent intervention to prevent unemployment levels from rising to double percentage figures by 2013.”
A company spokeswoman confirmed that roles are at risk.
But she stressed that they were at “risk” and “not redundant’” at this stage.
“Fujitsu is a major international company and restructuring is a normal part of business as we maintain efficiency and effectiveness and provide the best value for our customers,” she added.
SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan said the news was very concerning.
\[Shane Donaghey\]”The decision by the company to restructure its global operations is purely a response to market conditions and no comment on the aptitude or skills of the Derry workforce,” he said.
“If, unfortunately, Fujitsu cannot guarantee employment for its current staff as part of their restructuring process, it is important that all relevant agencies become involved in order to ensure workers are made aware of all their rights and entitlements at what will be a time of great anxiety and uncertainty.”
Fujitsu arrived in Derry in 2007, establishing a |managed IT services centre of excellence at Timber Quay as part of an £18m investment. Invest NI supported the creation of these job |opportunities by awarding a mult-million investment to Fujitsu. This also saw the creation of nearly 100 jobs in Belfast. The operation was expanded in 2008.