27 February 2006

Adams to join sacked workers


BY Francesca Ryan

West Belfast MP Gerry Adams is set to join sacked employees at a protest demanding government intervention to secure the future of the faltering TriVirix company.

The call comes after last Wednesday's shock announcement by the court-appointed administrator, Deloitte & Touche, that 76 people were to lose their jobs whilst only 37 employees were being retained at the Springfield Road plant.

Invest Northern Ireland, the government body responsible for encouraging companies to set up in the North, is now being urged to come up with the funds required to keep the struggling ompany in operation.

Sinn Féin’s Education and Employment spokesperson, Michael Ferguson, will, along with redundant TriVirix workers, stage a protest outside Invest NI’s Bedford Street offices tomorrow (Tuesday) demanding the small amount of investment required to keep the company afloat.

Councillor Ferguson said the US company is close to abandoning a flexible workforce whose skills could be applied to a range of other operations.

“This redundant workforce along with the existing technology at the site offers tremendous assets to any potential purchaser so it is crucial that the factory remains functioning. This workforce can lend itself to any amount of electronic manufacturing tasks.

“TriVirix in West Belfast is only one of a couple of sites in the world that has the high technological specification equipment and skilled workforce that meet the Food and Drugs Administration standards required.

“Invest NI has the funding available and rather than throw it away on another foreign company that will take it and run, we are now demanding that it be invested in the future of the local skilled workforce.

“I am calling for all-party support at the protest to pressurise Invest NI to release the funds needed to keep the factory afloat.

“The court-appointed administrator has also asked for this investment and I have written to Angela Smith seeking its release now.”

Meanwhile, West Belfast MP Gerry Adams, along with Councillor Ferguson, met with Communication Workers Union General Secretary Billy Hayes at the weekend to discuss the crisis over the 76 jobs axed in his constituency.
The protest will take place outside Invest NI’s Bedford Street offices on Tuesday, February 28 at 11am.

Journalist:: Francesca Ryan

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