East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, has expressed his disappointment at the revelation by Minister for the Economy, Simon Hamilton, that action was not taken until 2016 to meet Caterpillar management by Invest NI.
Mr Dickson said: “While I am disappointed I am not surprised at the lack lustre attempt by the Government to mitigate Caterpillar job losses. In response to my question to the Minister, Simon Hamilton stated Invest NI did not meet with Caterpillar until May 2016. This is nine months after the Caterpillar initially announced, in September 2015, the potential for job losses within the company.
“While it is comforting to hear that there was regular contact between Invest NI staff and company staff, on operational and strategic matters, the Minister’s response suggests a lack of high level contact until very recently.
“The DUP-Sinn Féin government needs to be much more proactive in preventing job losses in the future. Job cuts could have been reduced if the Government had engaged Caterpillar earlier – this must be the Government’s wake up call.”