“This is a devastating blow, both to the local areas directly affected by the job losses, but also to the wider Northern Ireland economy,” said Dr Farry.
“This is especially true as it comes in the wake of a number of other significant cuts to other major companies in the manufacturing sector in recent months.
“My immediate thoughts are with the affected workers and their families, who will be devastated by this news. There needs to be a clear vision from the Executive, not only for fully supporting the workers, but also what will be done to prevent further similar losses down the line.
“Although overall the manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland remains strong, today’s news is a further example of a major and long-established manufacturer experiencing massive difficulties.
“While the factors which have caused Caterpillar’s decision may relate to the ongoing situation in the global market, there are massive difficulties when trying to grow the manufacturing sector, given the implications of Brexit and the uncertainty of future access to the single market.”