Page last updated at 09:17 GMT, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Car part job losses shock union

Car parts
The car parts manufacturer is located in Carrickfergus

Job losses at a County Antrim car parts manufacturer were a "bolt from the blue", a union representative has said.

Ninety-nine employees at Ryobi in Carrickfergus were told on Tuesday they would lose their jobs within a month.

Terry Collins of Unite said he was shocked as he was previously told a "lucrative" contract was on the way.

"The car industry is going through turbulent times, but they also told me there was work coming in from Iran which would hopefully protect jobs."

Union representatives are to meet management on Wednesday, and Mr Collins said they feared the jobs of most of the 234 staff at Ryobi's Carrickfergus plant were not secure.

"Rather than a 90-day consultation period if more than 100 employees are affected, they are falling just short of that to circumvent the consultation period.

"Now they are in a situation where people can be made redundant after 30 days and firms are making significant savings."

A spokesman for Ryobi said "discussions are ongoing with employees".

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