The US company described the move as “not a closure of Caterpillar’s operations in Northern Ireland, but a strategic evaluation to make a more efficient use of our manufacturing footprint”.
The company is also considering the sale of the Millennium offices building in the Springvale Business Park, relocating the remaining employees to the Larne facility.
“We recognize that what we are considering is difficult for our employees, their families and the community. We do not take these contemplations lightly, however, we must plan for future business needs to be competitive,” said Joe Creed, vice president of Caterpillar’s Electric Power Division.
Consultation with the appropriate representative groups is expected to be completed in time for jobs to start going by Christmas. The full redundancy programme and reorganisation is expected to be completed in the next 12 to 18 months.
According to the Unite union, which represents some of the workers, production is being moved to India.