Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Leaders must save our manufacturing jobs

Recently I was privileged to visit the industrial heritage exhibition at Belfast City Hall.

One could only be impressed by and proud of the industrial entrepreneurship of our forebears. Everything seemed to be the "world's first" or "world's largest".

How sad it is, therefore, to compare that great era with the current diminishing industrial wasteland.

The decline, or demise, in recent years of H-amp;W, Nortel, Hughes Christensen and our once-thriving textile industry is hard to contemplate.

That is why it is so hard to understand why our local politicians appear to be standing idly by while another of our industrial giants, the Caterpillar-owned FG Wilson, is currently in the process of shedding some 1,000 jobs, with forecasts of further job-losses in 2013. Perhaps our politicians are still on holiday, as their silence is deafening - particularly as one considers that FG Wilson's three facilities are located in three different political constituencies.

The question has to be asked: what are the political representatives of these areas doing about the situation? The company is now almost through the 90-day consultation period, yet, apart from an initial 24 hours of indignant bluster, there does not appear to be any sort of action.

Can I appeal to the Belfast Telegraph to lead a campaign to save these jobs before the future of manufacturing here becomes even more bleak?

BLEAK FUTURE

Lisburn, Co Antrim

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