Ethernet networking specialist Ciena is understood to be cutting 17 jobs at Nortel's Monkstown facility in Northern Ireland, drawing fire from the Unite union.
The union's local representative, Sean Smyth told the
that angry members believed President Obama's recent call to protect US workers meant that more jobs at the plant, and in US IT firms across the province, could be at risk.
Smyth added to calls for a jobs task force to be set up by the Stormont Assembly to address his members' fears.
The cuts come as part of a wider cull in EMEA, totalling between 120 and 140 heads. MicroScope understands the positions are to be relocated to Ciena's base of operations in Maryland.
Ciena bought defunct Nortel's optical networking and carrier Ethernet
late last year
for $769m, later rising to $774m.
The facility once formed the keystone of Nortel's EMEA supply chain operation and employed over 1,000 staff in its heyday. By the time Nortel
went into administratio
n in January 2009 it employed about half that number.