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Electronics Production | February 26, 2007

Sanmina closure of Lisburn<br>plant was not unexpected

Although the closure of the Lisburn plant came as a shock to the workforce, the writing has been on the wall for the Lisburn factory for months. The trade union Amicus had already voiced fears for the future of the operation.
Terry Collins, regional officer of Amicus, is in no doubt that the attraction is the low-wage regime in Hungary, "There were never any complaints about the quality of the workforce, and they have worked very closely with the company. "This boils down to pounds, shillings and pence, and they have decided to move the operation to cut costs."

According to Terry Collins, the company told workers that the pressure for a move to Hungary came when Motorola decided to switch its contract to the plant in Hungary. He continues, "Once again, workers in Northern Ireland are paying the price for our lax employment laws.

But it is not thought that this inquiry had any bearing on the fate of the workers in Lisburn, where the closure announcement has caused widespread concern.

The closure of Sanmina comes as the province's electronics sector has been suffering from a number of cutbacks.

Chief executive of Momentum Ian Graham for the Northern Ireland ICT Federation, said plants such as Sanmina which focused largely on manufacturing were always vulnerable to low-cost competition.

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