Belfast Telegraph

Fujitsu axes Antrim repair centre with loss of 40 jobs

By David Young

Japanese IT firm Fujitsu is to close its maintenance and repair centre in Antrim with the loss of 40 jobs.

The company employs more than 800 people across Northern Ireland.

It plans to transfer work currently carried out in Antrim to plants in Belfast and Solihull in England.

A spokesman for the firm said: "As a result of this decision, regrettably 40 employees at our Antrim facility have been put on notice that their jobs are at risk of redundancy, triggering a formal consultation period with all affected employees and their representatives.

"With the movement of this work to other company locations and a range of separate vacancies elsewhere in the organisation locally, Fujitsu will be making every effort to minimise the number of redundancies as a result of this decision.

"The various relocation and redeployment opportunities will be discussed with all affected employees over the coming days and weeks.

"Fujitsu has operated successfully in Northern Ireland for over 40 years and its core services and expertise remain of paramount importance to the wider Fujitsu group.

"The operations in Northern Ireland will continue to play a key role in servicing the higher value needs of our customers across the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa region and also in meeting the needs of a strong NI customer base. This continued commitment to Northern Ireland also includes exploring how we can utilise our local expertise to successfully build on our recent global investments in research and development."

South Antrim MLA Adrian Cochrane-Watson, economy spokesman for the Ulster Unionist Party, said the decision by Fujitsu would have a seriously negative impact on the local area.

"The closure of Fujitsu's operation at Antrim Technology Park will be a big blow to Antrim," he said.

"Many of the employees have been there since the firm came to the town more than 20 years ago as an anchor tenant.

"Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell and Invest NI have been travelling the world looking for foreign direct investment, while at home we have been losing manufacturing jobs.

"We've lost Gallaher's, we've lost Michelin, jobs have gone at Schrader and now Fujitsu. No matter how buoyant minister Bell is, it's hard to get another job in manufacturing these days."

TUV spokesman Rick Cairns said: "Saddened to learn of Fujitsu's decision to close their site in Antrim, with 40 jobs set to go. A real blow for employees and families."

Belfast Telegraph