Northern Ireland

More than 100 job losses announced at Seagate Derry plant

Staff at Seagate's Derry plant were informed of the job losses on Thursday.
Staff at Seagate's Derry plant were informed of the job losses on Thursday.

IT giant, Seagate Technologies is expected to make up to 116 workers redundant at its Derry plant as part of a global restructuring plan.

Staff at the Derry factory were also told on Thursday that some managers at its Springtown plant would be taking a 10 per cent pay cut. While confirming job cuts, the company said actual numbers could not be given at this stage.

Derry’s biggest employer, Seagate makes parts for hard drives for the data storage industry. The US giant located in Derry in 1993 following discussions with former SDLP leader, the late John Hume. 

In recent weeks there were concerns that jobs would be lost at the Derry factory, with speculation redundancies would be considerably higher than the 116 positions announced to staff on Thursday. With a total workforce of 1,400 in Derry, the job losses account for approximately seven per cent of the staff.

Thursday’s redundancy announcement follows a warning in March by Seagate boss, Dave Moseley that there had been a fall in demand for its products. As a result, Mr Mosley said Seagate intended taking “aggressive action” to counter the development. Later, in April, Seagate announced plans to restructure the company.

However, the trade union, Unite has disputed Seagate’s reasons for cutbacks, claiming a current drop in sales was from a post-pandemic surge due to unprecedented supply challenges.

SDLP leader, Colum Eastwood said Seagate was a "crucial" employer for Derry and the north west. He said the company was a critical driver of economic growth in the region. 

"It's crucial that Seagate listen to its loyal workforce, minimize the impact these cuts will have on its staff and liaise with workers who would prefer voluntary redundancy," Mr Eastwood said.

His party colleague, assembly member, Mark H Durkan, described the news as “devastating” for staff and for Derry. Mr Durkan said his immediate thoughts were for all the workers.

“These are well-paid jobs in an area where well paid jobs are few and far between. The SDLP feels a particular affinity with Seagate given the party’s role and the role of our past leader, the late John Hume in bringing Seagate to the city,” Mr Durkan said.

Derry People before Profit councillor Shaun Harkin said the job losses were a “body blow” for workers and their families.

A spokeswoman for Seagate said the company was undertaking a global restructuring. 

She said: "These actions include a global workforce reduction which is one of the most difficult decisions a leadership team undertakes." 

The spokeswoman said Seagate had more than 30 years of investment in Northern Ireland and its workforce continued to play a significant role as it invested in future growth. 

The first job losses at the company are expected to take place by September.