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Risk to 160 Sensata Technologies' Co Antrim jobs

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The Sensata Technologies Schradar factory in Carrickfergus

The Sensata Technologies Schradar factory in Carrickfergus

The Sensata Technologies Schradar factory in Carrickfergus

Around 160 jobs are at risk at Co Antrim manufacturer Sensata Technologies after a downturn in the global car manufacturing marketing due to Covid-19.

It's the latest big business here to announce potential job losses after manufacturer Terex announced it’s consulting with staff over cuts.

Leaders in the manufacturing industry have warned of mass job losses as companies start to look at making staff redundant ahead of the end of the government's furlough scheme in October.

Sensata Technologies has 1,058 employees in Antrim and Carrickfergus - though it announced earlier this year that the latter plant is to close in early 2021.

Jobs in production, engineering and support roles will be hit by the move which Sensata Technologies said was in response to a significant drop in market demand due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Its Northern Ireland factories make tyre pressure monitoring systems for cars.

Global car manufacturing came to a virtual standstill during lockdown, while demand for new cars has also been hit by the economic downturn resulting from lockdown.

Sensata has operated here since it bought over Schrader Electronics six years ago.

The closure of the Carrickfergus plant will further cut its workforce by 270.

Eric Sorret, vice president at Sensata Technologies, said: “As part of our long term planning it has become clear that the effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic will have a profound and lasting impact on the demand for direct tyre pressure monitoring systems.

“Vehicle manufacturers around the world are significantly cutting their forecasts for the coming years, with global passenger vehicle demand set to be reduced by between 20 and 30%.

“This long-term reduction in market demand has already directly affected our Northern Ireland manufactured product lines and we regret to announce that we will be making a series of reductions to the workforce at our Antrim site during 2020 and early 2021.

“Like many businesses around the world, Sensata is adapting to a fast changing, challenging situation and our priority now is to support our affected employees and their families as we begin a collective consultation period. During this 90-day period proposed alternatives to compulsory redundancy will be considered. We will be providing advice and career transition guidance to affected employees.

“Despite these difficult operational decisions Sensata remains committed to Northern Ireland and will continue to invest in the development of ‘Smart and Connected’ products to support future growth.”

Meanwhile, equipment giant Terex Materials Processing has said it’s consulting on job losses at its sites across Omagh, Dungannon, Ballymoney and Campsie, which have a total of 1,800 staff.

A spokeswoman for the US-owned firm said: “As a consequence of Covid-19 Terex has taken a number of actions to reduce costs, including company-wide salary reductions and the use of the UK Government’s furloughing scheme in order to align the business with anticipated demand. In addition to these measures we will also begin a consultation period with our employees which may lead to a reduction in our workforce.

“We regret that it is necessary to consider a reduction in workplace numbers.

“We understand this is a worrying time for our team members and we will continue to communicate with them as events develop. Every attempt is being made to minimise job losses in these uncertain global conditions, while at the same assuring the sustainability of the business going forward.”

Belfast Telegraph