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Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
Nortel cuts more NI jobs
Nortel Monkstown
The company is one of NI's largest employers
Telecommunications company Nortel has announced 200 jobs are to go at its Monkstown plant in County Antrim.

The job losses bring to 600 the number of redundancies announced in the province in less than a week.

Nortel has been haemorrhaging jobs since the beginning of last year.

The announcement will take the current workforce at the Monkstown factory down to 780 from a peak of over 2,000.

Nortel production line
Monkstown workforce has slumped to 780

Eighty of the jobs are to go in the company's operations division and 120 positions will be cut from the research and development department, which is central to the firm's future success.

Cuts there are a sign of the depth of the crisis facing the company.

A company spokesman said it recognised it was a difficult time for its workers and, therefore, had entered into discussions with the trade unions to mitigate the effects.

This announcement follows on from Nortel's statement in August that it was reducing its workforce globally by 7,000 as it attempts to stem losses following a slump in sales.

The plant makes telecommunications transmission equipment and has been a market leader in the provision of fibre optics.

The Newtownabbey operation is Nortel's largest optical systems house in Europe. Last year the company won the Northern Ireland Exporter of the Year Award.

The company is a subsidiary of the Canadian-owned global hi-tech corporation which operates in 100 countries.

It is the fourth redundancy announcement in Northern Ireland since last Friday three of them in east Antrim.

American electronics Solectron announced 80 jobs were to go at its plant in Carrickfergus, while 135 jobs were lost at Getty Communications in the town.

That has prompted Enterprise Minister Sir Reg Empey to call a forum of local representatives next week to discuss what if anything might be done.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's business editor James Kerr:
"The cuts are a sign of the depth of the crisis facing the company"
See also:

30 Sep 02 | N Ireland
28 Aug 02 | Business
29 May 02 | Business
16 Oct 01 | N Ireland
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