Worry over Seagate jobs losses accepted by Minister

The Seagate plant on Derry's Buncrana Road.

The Seagate plant on Derry's Buncrana Road.

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton has acknowledged the anxiety workers at the Londonderry Seagate plant have been suffering since the hard drive manufacturer announced in May it was letting 70 staff go.

Mr Hamilton said Invest NI has held several meetings with Seagate management since the announcement in order to discuss how the company’s presence in the city can be strengthened.

Asked by Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood what he was doing about the job losses, Mr Hamilton said: “Seagate is a key employer in the North West, with circa 1,400 staff and is an important company in the context of the overall Northern Ireland economy.

“Its decision to reduce its workforce by five per cent, 70 jobs, is naturally worrying for staff and disappointing to us all.

“Invest NI, together with other relevant agencies, will undertake to work with those impacted by the announcement to assist with sign posting to alternative job opportunities or address any re-training needs.

“Invest NI maintains regular contact with Seagate’s management, meeting on at least a quarterly basis, to review progress and to discuss how the company’s presence can be maintained and strengthened where possible.

“The company has confirmed that the current actions have become necessary as a result of changes in demand levels within the industry Seagate operates, however it remains committed to its Northern Ireland operation and is, indeed, making good progress with its £34million R&D project announced in 2014.

“Invest NI has been in contact with the company on several occasions since the announcement and will continue to work with management as they implement the redundancy process. Future opportunities to strengthen the company’s presence in Northern Ireland will continue to be explored although it is recognised that these may be limited given the pressures within the Hard Disc Drive storage market.”