A spokesperson for the Unite trade union has said that workers at Cameron in Longford were not expecting the announcement yesterday that 170 jobs at the gas and engineering factory were to be lost.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Willie Quigley said he was hopeful that the Minister for Jobs and local politicians could put pressure on management to change its mind.

However, he said he accepted that it did not look as though the company could be persuaded to stay.

Mr Quigley said that jobs will be needed locally to replace the lost positions but that he was not giving up hope that the number of redundancies could be reduced.

He added that a deal reached for workers, made redundant earlier this year, should be improved following yesterday’s announcement, because the deal negotiated was one relative to downsizing.

Mr Quigley said he did not have any concerns that workers were being trained in Ireland in order to return to Eastern Europe and work for the company there.