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© ingrid prats dreamstime.com Electronics Production | November 22, 2012

Thales to lay off 50 workers in Northern Ireland

Thales is laying off 50 workers from its Northern Ireland based plants, according to the BBC.

According to the BBC the east Belfast and Crossgar workforce will be cut by 10%, this due to global defence spending cutbacks. "The current business environment is unlike anything we have experienced in recent years and prospects and programmes in our defence sector - both domestic and export - are experiencing significant reductions in volumes and workload”, the company told the BBC The company has begun briefing their staff about the current situation and the layoffs will take place throughout 2013. Thales is also to have stated that they will "make every effort to minimise permanent job losses and provide support to those affected". Noteworthy is that said cutbacks of staff in Northern Ireland comes just a short period of time after Thales signed a big contract to supply missiles to the army in Thailand. The very type of missiles produced in Northern Ireland, Starstreak missiles, which is a ground-to-air type missile. This contract was announced earlier this week during a UK visit by the Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. According to the BBC, the decision to layoff was taken prior to the Thai contract being signed.
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