The GMB union is seeking an urgent meeting with the Northern Ireland health minister Simon Hamilton following the announcement that Four Seasons plans to close seven of its care homes by February.
GMB has been pressing the Northern Ireland Executive and the five health trusts to be aware of the financial problems within the UK’s largest care home provider.
Alan Perry, GMB regional officer, said: “This announcement makes it clear that the care of elderly cannot be left to companies who have to be able to make a return on capital invested and that this has to come as a higher priority to the personal needs of residents.
“With the seven homes employing close to 400 staff, many in rural areas, GMB are concerned that they will be unlikely to find employment within the company leading to an uncertain future for them.
“Staff along with the residents and their families, who received notification in a letter delivered to their homes, are simply shocked and horrified at this decision. With continuing cuts from the Northern Ireland Executive GMB believes this may be only the start.”