Raytheon looking at Derry future

Global weapons giant Raytheon has confirmed it is "assessing its workload" at its Derry plant amid speculation that it is planning to axe staff. However a company spokesperson said no decisions have been made to reduce jobs.

One source told the Journal that the company, which operates a software development facility at Springtown, was considering cuts.

The source said: "The future of the entire Derry operation is currently being discussed with a view to its possible closure."

However the company spokesman said yesterday evening: "While we are currently assessing our workload at the NISSC facility, no decisions have been made to reduce staffing levels. Our NISSC employees have exceptional skills and we fully anticipate the need for these skills in the future. Any decisions that are made with regard to staffing levels would, in the first instance, be communicated to our employees."

The US-based company has been involved in controversy in the city because it supplies munitions software to countries across the world, although it has denied that military work is carried out locally. A number of protests have been carried out at the Derry plant, with a protest against cluster bombs held there on Wednesday.

The trial of a number of local people in connection with a protest at the company offices is due to begin next week in Belfast.