FG Wilson move to China puts 260 jobs at risk
ENGINEERING GROUP FG Wilson plans to relocate some production from Northern Ireland to China in a restructuring that could result in 260 job losses.
The Larne company, which employs more than 3,000 people across four sites in the North, told workers yesterday it was restructuring to keep the “business competitive”. There had been no prior indication job losses were on the agenda for FG Wilson, according to the Unite trade union.
The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar, exports globally and has manufacturing facilities in Brazil, China, India and the United States. Its Larne plant has, in the past, been praised as the “hub of Caterpillar’s substantial electric power division”.
Employees yesterday heard that the group intends to restructure its small generator set business to “become a leaner team”. It will launch what it has described as a two-month evaluation of its salaried and management team before it decides which jobs could be “combined or removed to achieve efficiency improvements”.
FG Wilson has indicated that job losses could take place by the fourth quarter. Workers fear that up to 100 positions could be axed.
The group said it also intends to move production of its 400 series generator sets from Northern Ireland to Tianjin in China. FG Wilson said it was doing this “to build the product closer to its growing customer base”. This is likely to mean the loss of 160 members of the group’s agency workforce by the end of this year.