Derry politicians query new Belfast Stream jobs

Derry Journal - online and in print on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
Derry Journal - online and in print on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

Politicians have questioned why a US company who once employed more than 1200 workers in Derry wound down its operations in the city but today announced 1000 new jobs for Belfast.

Sinn Fein’s Maeve McLaughlin said both the company, Stream Global Services, and the north’s Minister for Enterprise Arlene Foster should explain the rationale behind today’s announcement to the onetime Derry workforce.

“Both Minister Foster and InvestNI need to explain to those hundreds of Stream Global Services employees in Derry who have been made redundant in recent years how they can justify grant-aiding this Company.

“From the announcement made today it does not appear that any particular skill base different than what was already available at its Derry facility is required.”

SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood said the “people of Derry will be rightly angered” by today’s announcement.

“I have read the remarks from Invest NI that these are different jobs and that jobs haven’t been moved from Derry to Belfast. This will sound like empty rhetoric to the families in the Derry area that were devastated by the job losses in 2011.

“Serious questions need to be asked of our resident deputy First Minister, how can he allow a company that closed down their Derry operation to avail of £3 million of public money to set up in Belfast?,” he said.

Invest NI have supported the new Belfast jobs with grant aid of more than £3million. Around 15 workers are still employed by Stream in Derry.