Belfast Telegraph

D-Day looms for bid to save jobs at Ballymena's JTI cigarette plant

By Nevin Farrell

Trade union officials say it will be make-or-break at Ballymena's JTI cigarette plant today as a decision is expected on whether a proposal to save over 500 jobs will be accepted by company chiefs.

A Unite spokesman confirmed if the joint plan drawn up with factory management was accepted, 512 jobs will be spared the axe at the Lisnafillan factory.

Davy Thompson, Unite union regional official, said: "We are hopeful; we believe we have put together a business plan that is manageable and workable and hopeful of a positive outcome. We hope to save 512 of the 882 jobs, which was the best proposal we could come up."

A JTI spokesman said: "When we announced the initial proposals on October 7, 2014, we said that our first priority will be to consult with work councils and employees groups before taking forward any plans. Once those consultations are concluded, we will be making a further announcement."

JTI had said it would close the factory in 2017.

Belfast Telegraph