Drinks maker Britvic axes 52 jobs
More than 50 jobs have been axed at soft drinks producer Britvic, it was confirmed.
The 52 redundancies had been feared after the company lost a major distribution contract with C&C.
Britvic had employed 139 people in east Belfast and 17 in Omagh.
The North's Employment Minister Sir Reg Empey, who said he had received official notification of the job losses, pledged to help the axed workers find alternative employment.
The blow comes a week after Tyrone Crystal closed its factory in Dungannon with the loss of 31 jobs.
The minister said: "My department has just received official notification of 52 job losses in Britvic which confirms our worst fears.
"Just as Tyrone Crystal was decimated by the recession last week so too have many other industries in Northern Ireland in previous months.
"My department, whilst it cannot create jobs, will continue to work with those affected to examine all options open to them and help them make plans for the future.
"My officials set up a redundancy clinic last week in Tyrone Crystal and we will offer the same services to Britvic Northern Ireland.
"This economic recession has left a trail of closed and reduced businesses in its path which will take significant time to recover from. We must offer support and practical help to those whose lives have been affected."