Webprint to cut 26 staff after losing Examiner contract
Staff informed of job losses at Cork printers this morning
Webprint had a contract to print the Irish Examiner and other Thomas Crosbie Holdings newspapers until the company entered receivership last month. Photograph: Eric Luke
The job losses will more than halve Webprint’s 46-strong workforce, but the specific roles to be cut and the timing of the redundancies will not be established until a consultation period has been completed. The consultation, between Webprint and the Unite union, is expected to take about four weeks. Staff were informed of the plan this morning.
“Due to the events of recent weeks, which were entirely unexpected and not of our making, Webprint has regrettably had no option but to make 26 of our team redundant,” said the company’s managing director, Donagh O’Doherty.
“This move means the company will now be the right size for our current level of business and also positions us well for growth.”
Webprint’s 15-year contract with Thomas Crosbie Holdings had a net value of €22.2 million, or 70 per cent of the printing company’s income, according to Mr O’Doherty.
The contract was terminated when Thomas Crosbie Holdings was placed in receivership last month and the bulk of its assets subsequently acquired by Landmark Media Investments, a company owned by former TCH shareholders, Tom and Ted Crosbie. The Irish Times is now printing Landmark’s titles, including the Examiner and the Evening Echo.
Webprint has since brought a legal action over the loss of the contract, claiming abuse of the insolvency process, but this is not expected to be heard until October.
Mr O’Donoghue said Webprint had been working hard to replace the lost business and had won some commercial contracts over the past few weeks. The company retains the contract to print The Sunday Business Post newspaper, which is in examinership.
“It is extremely regrettable and unfair that workers in a well-run, profitable company should have their livelihoods affected in this manner,” Mr O’Donoghue said.
Most of Webprint’s staff have been working a two-day week since the print contracts were removed but it is hoped that the workers who remain after redundancy will return to full-time hours.
Redundancy payments on offer to those staff who lose their jobs are likely to be limited to statutory terms of two weeks’ pay per year of service plus one additional week, with a weekly cap of €600.