120 jobs at risk in Waterford


Up to 120 jobs are at risk in Waterford after Bausch and Lomb said it was seeking further cuts in its workforce.

The latest blow to jobs in the Waterford region comes only four months after the firm sought 195 redundancies in a bid cut costs. Attempts to secure cuts in production costs through the introduction of short time working in January had failed.

Siptu's branch organiser Marie Butler said the new redundancies would be on a voluntary basis, on the same terms as the last round of jobs cuts - six weeks pay per year of service, including statutory entitlements.

“The emphasis seems to be on making the plant more competitive”, she said. “While this is understandable from the company’s point of view, the sheer scale of job losses in Waterford now cries out for some form of Government intervention. The threat posed to the sustainability of the local economy is reaching critical proportions."

Last week, manufacturing firm ABB announced it was to close its facility in the area with the loss of almost 180 jobs.

ABB, which makes components for power supply, plans to shut down its long-standing Waterford facility by the end of March next year, blaming falling business and poor future prospects.

Fine Gael TD for Waterford John Deasy said State agencies need to start focusing on the area.

“It’s time for State agencies, and the IDA in particular, to focus on Waterford, considering the massive job losses that it has endured over the last two years. After hundreds of jobs were lost in Waterford Crystal, other large employers such as ABB, among many others, have indicated that they cannot sustain their businesses and retain their workforces within the city," he said.

He repeated a call for Waterford's Institute of Technology to be given university status.

"The city needs some method to counteract these massive job losses. Providing university status to the Institute has been identified as a key factor in industrial growth for the city and the region," he said.