Engineers to shed more jobs


The American-owned engineering firm Hughes Christensen has announced that it will be shedding another 27 jobs at its plant in east Belfast. This brings to 67 the total number being laid off at the factory, which employs around 300 people making products for the oil and gas exploration industry.

In May, the company, which is part of the giant Texas company Baker Hughes, announced that it was investing £18.3 million in new state-of-the-art technology, and expected to create 54 new jobs over the next three years as a result.

The money was used to equip the plant with the latest machine tools, enabling the company to manufacture a range of new products required by the global oil industry, and the project was backed by a grant of £2.8 million from the IDB. However, a spokesman for the company said the latest redundancies were the result of a reduced level of demand and a decline in margins.