Administrators have arrived at the closure-threatened Belfast shipyard Harland and Wolff for a meeting with workers.
Workers have maintained a round-the-clock demonstration at the gates of the historic shipyard for a week in hopes of a last-minute deal to save it.
With just hours to go until trading is due to officially cease at 5.15pm, workers are holding meetings with the administrators and later with DUP leader Arlene Foster at Stormont.
Ulster Unionist MLA Andy Allen has been at the gates of Harland and Wolff where workers are maintaining their week-long demonstration and said it is not too late for a last-minute rescue for the shipyard.
“We’re heading towards the final hours but it’s still not too late to deliver a solution for the workforce,” he said.
“We have seen empty platitudes from the Government so far, they need to step up to the mark, they really need to take this by the mantle and deliver for this workforce, the Secretary of State hiding behind Europe and the Prime Minister not coming out and delivering for this workforce will have a massive impact and massive ramification for the wider community here in east Belfast, but not only east Belfast, right across Northern Ireland.
“We as politicians need to step up to the mark, I’ve said before I believe it is a dereliction of duty that we are not up there in the Assembly delivering for the men and women of the shipyard and the rest of the manufacturing industry right across Northern Ireland and indeed every family, we have 125,000 people on the hospital waiting list and we are failing them. It is not acceptable.”