Belfast Telegraph

125 jobs to be lost at Sensata Technologies - 275 workers told position 'at risk'

The Sensata Technologies Schradar factory in Carrickfergus
The Sensata Technologies Schradar factory in Carrickfergus
Union rep Joanne McWilliams speaks with Sensata Technologies staff after they received the bad news
Andrew Madden

By Andrew Madden

A total of 275 workers are at risk of losing their jobs after it was announced that 125 staff are to be axed at a factory in Carrickfergus.

Sensata Technologies announced the jobs will be lost as a result of a drop in expected demand for some of its products.

However, in a letter seen by the Belfast Telegraph, Sensata informed employees yesterday that a total of 275 have been placed "at risk".

Sensata Technologies, which bought Schrader Electronics in 2014, makes tyre pressure systems and operates from two sites here in Carrickfergus and Antrim.

The news brings the number of job losses in Northern Ireland over the past two months to more than 1,000.

Graeme Thompson, UK general manager at Sensata Technologies, said: "Following a review of our operations and in response to a drop in expected demand for some of the products currently manufactured in Northern Ireland, the company regrets to announce that we will potentially be reducing the workforce at our site in Carrickfergus by 125 people."

In a letter to employees at the Antrim factory, bosses said that expected production levels for other lines within Northern Ireland "remain steady at this time".

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"The company will continue to monitor our end markets and the resulting production level forecasts. As part of this business reorganisation there may be an adaptation to existing roles and some working conditions," they added.

"However, and whilst you are not directly affected, around 275 employees have been placed at risk.

"Many of your colleagues in Carrickfergus will have received unpleasant news this morning."

One Sensata Antrim worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said there was a "heavy mood" among employees yesterday morning when they heard the news.

"Everyone just seems to be waiting for a tap on the shoulder or a letter in the post," they said.

"It's awful. With all these other factory jobs going, it doesn't inspire confidence."

East Antrim DUP MP Sammy Wilson said: "While unemployment in Northern Ireland is at a 10-year low, recent jobs losses in the East Antrim area highlight the importance of ensuring Northern Ireland has a functioning government of some kind back in place as quickly as possible. We need to see a cross government strategy put in place to not only ensure the best possible outcome for those affected today, but also to attract new jobs and investment to Carrick/East Antrim."

Manufacturing NI boss Stephen Kelly said: "Political stability is the number one factor giving confidence to foreign direct investment investors and there have been examples in the past where a call or visit from the First or Deputy First Minister has secured or sustained jobs that could have been lost.

"What we have right now is no good for business."

It is the sixth significant job loss announcement in the first two months of the year following on from cuts to the workforces at Schlumberger, Williams Industrial Services, Kilroot Power Station, Wrightbus, Lagan Construction Group and Acheson and Glover.

Belfast Telegraph