Seagate Closure

The worrying rumours of the impending closure of Seagate’s plant at Limavady, County Londonderry, have proven well founded. When workers were sent home on Saturday and told to assemble at the plant to-day(Monday) for an important announcement, everybody feared the worst.

Seagate

The BBC have the story here – More than 900 computer jobs to go. They say:-

More than 900 jobs are to be lost in County Londonderry with the closure of the Seagate plant which makes components for hard disc drives.

Staff were given the news at a meeting in the company’s Limavady plant on Monday.

The American company has had a base in Limavady for the last decade.

This is a MASSIVE blow to the employment base in the North West and must leave workers at the nearby Derry plant feeling very nervous.

The BBC story points out that Seagate “has received £12m from Invest Northern Ireland and its predecessor DriveIDB since 2001.” I have to say that I’m not at all happy with the way Invest NI run things here. They seem to chuck money at any old crooked industrialist who happens to be passing by and suggests setting up a factory. We shell out the money, they quickly pocket it, make as much money as the can and then disappear off into the sunset as soon as they find somewhere else in the world where the setting up grants are slightly better.

Sadly we have a long history of getting into bed with such companies…… BSR and Fruit of the Loom spring to mind. And who could forget that wonderful car maker – Delorean?

I find myself agreeing here with this statement from the BBC Article:-

Sinn Fein’s Francie Brolly accused Seagate and other global companies of behaving like “travelling circuses”.

“They go to Limavady while they have the conditions that they require,” Mr Brolly said.

“When they discover that somewhere in the world they can make more money, because labour costs are cheaper or whatever, they go there.”

brokendrive.jpgMy thoughts are with all the workers at this time. Let’s hope our new government can find a way to help.

I certainly hope that they can learn a lesson here about which crooks to avoid. Sadly… Seagate seem to fall in the “grab and run” industrialist category. Perhaps we’ll manage to vet in-coming companies more cleverly in future.

_____

So? What do YOU feel about this situation?

Have you an experience that might help the workers come to terms with today’s events?

Let’s talk here and now…..

Click this article’s title, scroll to the comment box, choose your own site name and post your comments. You’ll only be required to give an email address but that will not be made public.

Let’s talk……

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2 Responses to Seagate Closure

  1. talkni says:

    The Belfast Telegraph’s William Allen has a well researched and crafted article on this closure here: High tech dream that became a nightmare. Well worth a read. Among the points he makes are:-

    Even though there is a delay of at least seven months before the axe falls on over 900 jobs, how does a borough with a population of 33,000 cope with job losses on that scale and the resultant destructive effect on its economy?

    Yesterday’s events – and the workers’ insistence they came about because of plans to switch production to a lower-cost economy – had terrible echoes of the past when one factory after another closed down, plunging families into despair and small communities into breakdown.

    Fruit of the Loom, Desmonds, Adria – they were just some of the big textiles employers who pulled the plug or re-located to Africa or Asia.

    But they belonged to a struggling traditional manufacturing sector and the moves were not unexpected, whereas Seagate is a blue chip company, at the forefront of the futuristic knowledge industry.

    Yet the reason given was the same – that the plant was no longer competitive because other firms had the benefits of operating with lower costs.

    But the longer term focus must be on how the lost jobs can be replaced.

    What is needed now more than anything is provision of practical help, alongside a cohesive strategy that will bring forward and help more local entrepreneurs, building indigenous business, so the reliance on inward investors can be reduced.

    Despite getting £12m from Invest NI since 2001, Seagate’s Limavady operation is being shut down. So who can argue that this was money well-spent?

    …Direct Rule minister Maria Eagle revealed: “During the last 12 months there have been no visits by potential inward investors to the constituency. Invest NI reports on jobs promoted rather than jobs created.

    “Over the past 12 months they have supported externally- owned companies to safeguard 787 jobs in the East Londonderry constituency and assisted almost 200 new locally-owned business starts which are expected to promote in the region of 260 jobs.”

    Those figures – especially the 787 jobs safeguarded with externally owned companies – bring into sharp focus the terrible toll of Seagate’s decision.

    Read William’s article in full, and it is well worth the effort, in the Belfast Telegraph or online here: High tech dream that became a nightmare.

  2. […] check the full story here […]

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