Sensata closure plan triggers series of meetings

The Sensata premises in Carrickfergus. INCT 08-011-PSB
The Sensata premises in Carrickfergus. INCT 08-011-PSB
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A delegation from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council was due to meet with management of Sensata Technologies today (Tuesday) over the planned closure of the company’s Carrickfergus plant.

It follows the announcement on Friday that around 270 posts are at jeopardy with the phased closure of the Meadowbank Road site by early 2021.

Council chief executive Anne Donaghy told Monday evening’s MEA Council meeting they would be talking about transfer of jobs, if there will be any redundancies, if there will be retraining and what will happen to the site thereafter.

She said: “It is important that members work quickly on their feet and important to help in a collective way.”

Meanwhile, East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson met with management of Sensata, which also has an Antrim factory, on Friday. Speaking afterwards, Mr Wilson said, “I explored with management whether there was assistance that could be given from Invest NI to look at new markets given the downturn in the European market.

“The company pointed out that the next largest market was the USA where they already have sufficient capacity to produce valves for. China is only beginning to introduce the technology there, Brazil has very limited opportunities and India is not even contemplating the use of the technology at present. There are therefore no new markets immediately open to the firm.

“I welcome the proactive approach by Mid and East Antrim Council who have offered to set up advice opportunities for workers and also a jobs fair to look at alternative employment.

“I also sought assurances from the firm that anyone who found employment through the opportunities which the council might afford them will not be disadvantaged by losing out in redundancy packages.

“There may be some limited employment opportunities in the Antrim plant and this would be made known to the workforce.”