Internal restructuring
United Kingdom
Northern Ireland;
Location of affected unit(s)
Larne and Belfast
Manufacture Of Computer, Electrical Electronic And Optical Products
Manufacture Of Electrical Equipment
27.11 - Manufacture of electric motors, generators and transformers

700 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
5 November 2020
Employment effect (start)
31 December 2020
Foreseen end date
31 May 2022


Caterpillar, the US-based multinational construction equipment manufacturer, has announced plans to cut 700 jobs in Northern Ireland. Most redundancies will take place in Larne, in county Antrim, and affect staff in production, support and management positions. However, the company is 'considering the sale' of an office building in its administrative centre Springvale Business Park, Belfast, together with the relocation of the remaining office employees.

The company said the restructuring is unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit, and emphasised that the aim is to save costs and 'improve efficiencies'. A consultation with the affected employees will start before the end of 2020 and the restructuring is expected to be completed by May 2022.

The vice president of the company's electric power division stated that the restructuring decision was not taken 'lightly' by the company. The minister for the Economy of the Northern Ireland government said that the job losses will be a 'devastating blow' to the local economy, while a representative of the trade union Unite said the news of redundancies was 'devastating'. The union also claimed that production from Larne will be offshored to India.

Caterpillar designs, manufactures and sells engines and machinery and employs more than 10,000 people in 23 locations. The company has three sites and 1,600 employees in Northern Ireland. The site in Larne is specialised in the design, manufacture and sale of generator sets.



Eurofound (2020), Caterpillar, Internal restructuring in United Kingdom, factsheet number 102586, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/102586.