Sinn Féin criticise Schlumberger closure
Sinn Féin's Employment and Workers Rights spokesperson, Declan Kearney has questioned the motivation of Schlumberger to close its manufacturing plant in Newtownabbey and criticised the company's global management for its handling of the announcement.
The South Antrim MLA said:
"The Schlumberger global management decision to close the Newtownabbey site was announced to workers suddenly and without any prior notice yesterday.
"This is devastating news for the 220 workers directly affected and their families. It comes as yet another hammer blow for the north's beleaguered manufacturing sector.
"The company's corporate global management representatives are pointing towards a commercial down turn in the oil and gas sector to rationalise their local decision. Yet, Schlumberger is a highly profitable global company.
"There are concerns the work carried out at the Newtownabbey site will now be outsourced to China and Mexico. However, the high skill levels of the local work force cannot be matched there.
“I believe this decision is more to do with Schlumberger's global operation attempting to drive down wage costs and reduce overheads. But as well as hurting local workers it also deepens the race to the bottom for the regional economy.
"Last night I received a briefing from UNITE the Union. I assured the regional leadership and local shop stewards of my political support in addressing this crisis. We have agreed to meet on Monday to discuss further next steps."