Tennyson expresses sympathy after factory worker redundancy news

Alliance Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC) Councillor Eóin Tennyson has expressed sympathy with staff at a Portadown factory, after a consultation begun for up to 500 redundancies.

The potential redundancies for workers at Thompson Aero Seating come after the company blamed the ‘extreme challenges’ facing the aviation industry. Councillor Tennyson said the effects would be felt both locally and wider.

“Given the importance of Thompson Aero Seating, should these redundancies proceed it would be a devastating blow for the local economy in Portadown and further afield across Northern Ireland,” he said.

“My first thoughts are with the workforce, who have been left in this situation through no fault of their own, and who were also hit with 430 job losses only weeks ago at the onset of the coronavirus crisis.

“I intend to write to Thompson Aero Seating to seek assurances any job losses will be mitigated as far as is possible. The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme requires workers to be furloughed before June 10 to receive support, however, that will not be possible in this case. It is vital we see the scheme being amended to take in exceptional circumstances such as these.”

Alliance Councillor Brian Pope, newly appointed Chair of ABC Council’s Economic Development and Regeneration Committee, added: “Thompson Aero Seating is a major employer in our borough and this announcement will be devastating news to many employees and their families.

“Every effort should be taken to mediate the situation and I call upon the Economy Minister to immediately intervene to provide as much practical support as possible.”