Abbott Nutrition seeking 180 redundancies
CLOSE TO 180 of the 310 staff at Abbott Nutrition in Sligo are to be laid off, with some jobs expected to go before Christmas.
Staff at the plant, which opened in 1974, were called to a meeting at 2pm yesterday to be told the company was seeking 180 redundancies due to a “streamlining” of its global nutrition business.
The factory, at Ballytivnan, is the oldest Abbott plant in the Republic and one of three operated by the multinational in Sligo.
Abbott said it hoped the redundancies could be achieved through a voluntary redundancy programme, adding that it was entering into a 30-day consultation period with employees.
A spokeswoman said it was expected that a number of staff would be laid off by Christmas, with the majority of redundancies to take place on a phased basis over the next 12 months.
It said it regretted the impact of the announcement on employees and the local community.
The site would continue to manufacture nutritional device sets for all international markets except the US, and more than 130 employees would continue to be employed there.
Siptu organiser Frank Jones said that the news had come “out of the blue”.
The mayor of Sligo, David Cawley, said: “I am very conscious that some staff, including some from my own family, have worked there for 25 to 30 years.”
He hoped some small crumbs of comfort could be provided for staff by assurances that severance terms would be “on the upper scale”, according to the company.
Local Fine Gael TD for Sligo-North Leitrim Tony McLoughlin said his thoughts were with the staff.
“It’s disappointing to get this news in the week in which we had such good news regarding the Stiefel employees.”
The announcement comes just days after 120 staff at Stiefel in Sligo were told that their jobs were being saved following the decision by GlaxoSmithKline not to shut the business as planned next year.
Mr McLoughlin said he hoped to discuss the Abbott issue with Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton “in order to look at how his department and the IDA can help to bring investment to Sligo in order to help replace these jobs”.
Veronica Cawley, cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, said job losses on this scale would have a major impact in Sligo and Leitrim.