Harland and Wolff said it would lay off 280 workers last week. The shipyard recently secured its future by winning orders for four ferries worth $456 million and two cruise liners worth $350 million, but they will only take effect towards the end of the year.
"There is the order for the four Ropax ferries, and there is also a letter of understanding for two luxury cruise liners. However there is a time lag until the full benefit of these orders feeds through, unfortunately making these redundancies necessary," a spokesman said.
"We would hope that in the longer term we would be able to increase the core size workforce once again but obviously these things are driven by commercial conditions," he added.