Protestant workers ‘disappointed’ over royal wedding decision

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One of Derry’s biggest employers has been accused of being insensitive to Protestant workers for refusing to give staff a day off for Prince William’s wedding.

Seagate, which employs more than 1000 people in the city, say their decision not to treat April 29 - the day the British royal marries Kate Middleton - as a bank holiday was taken for a number of reasons.

“Seagate’s Springtown factory will operate normally on 29 April,” a Seagate spokesman told the ‘Journal’.

“In reaching its decision not to grant a additional day to the holiday entitlement which is provided for in employees’ contracts, factory management took into account the needs of the business and the fact that there are three other public holidays within the same eight-day period.”

But sources within the company’s Springtown base say the decision has caused concern among workers from a unionist background.

The source says while there is “ absolutely no trouble or tension at grassroots level”, Protestant employees feel “ disappointed and let down” by the royal wedding decision.

“When this was first brought up at a staff meeting it was dismissed out of hand. People laughed at the very notion of it being suggested. It was very embarrassing for all involved.

No trouble

“There is absolutely no trouble at all among staff but people from a unionist background feel this is just adding to a growing undercurrent.

“Unionists are not surprised by this decision.”

The source claims staff have yet to be officially informed that April 29 will not be classed as a bank holiday.