Ciena to halve jobs in Northern Ireland; Wirral Council cuts 22 IT staff

US-based networks company Ciena is planning to cut up to 60 jobs at its County Antrim factory as part of its plans to relocate the work.

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US-based networks company Ciena is planning to cut up to 60 jobs at its County Antrim factory as part of its plans to relocate the work.

The plant was owned by Nortel, which sold its Ethernet networks business to Ciena in 2009.

According to BBC News, Ciena is planning to make between 50 and 60 workers redundant, which is around half of the current 118 employees, over the next six months. This is in addition to the 17 jobs that were lost last year as a result of their relocation to Baltimore in the United States.  

The job cuts are a result of Ciena’s plans to reorganise its global distribution model.

The technology company told the BBC that it is consulting with employees’ representatives, and that it would make an effort to re-deploy people.

 In addition, Sean Smyth, spokesperson for Unite union, told the Belfast Telegraph: “The good news is that the people who are losing their jobs this time will be paid redundancy.”

Separately, Wirral Council has reduced its IT department by more than 10 percent after 22 staff accepted the local authority’s offer of voluntary redundancy or early retirement.

The council, which employed 169 IT staff before the cuts, has offered voluntary redundancy to its staff in response to budget cuts of £40 million. It anticipates that the exercise will save the council £24.3 million through the voluntary options, with additional savings of £691,000 arising directly from the consultation exercise.

It employs around 6,000 people in total, not including those in education.

Aside from the job cuts, the council has proposed to invest £120,000 in upgrading the technology in its libraries, which includes installing Wi-Fi, information screens and a new e-book service in every library.

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