C&C blames job cuts on loss of water-bottling contracts

Firm to close Borrisoleigh plant after losing business from two firms

Magners cider at the Clonmel factory: C&C is to add 80 jobs at the Tipperary plant after cutting 144 at Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary, and Shepton Mallet in England

Magners cider at the Clonmel factory: C&C is to add 80 jobs at the Tipperary plant after cutting 144 at Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary, and Shepton Mallet in England

 
Dunnes Stores

The Bulmers and Magners cider-maker confirmed yesterday it is closing its water bottling plant at Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary, which employs 144 staff, and its facility in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, southwest England, where 120 work.

Its decision to close Borrisoleigh stems partly from the loss last year of contracts to bottle own-brand mineral water for retailer Dunnes Stores and another unnamed supermarket chain.

C&C’s statement cites the loss of “material contracts for private-label water” as one of the factors behind its decision to close the Tipperary plant, although it does not name either Dunnes or the other former customer.

The loss of both deals cut demand significantly at Borrisoleigh, which C&C acquired when it bought Tipperary Water and Finches soft drinks producer M&J Gleeson for €12.4 million in 2014.

Production

Clonmel

Following news of the closure, scheduled for July, trade union Siptu pledged to work to protect as many of its members’ jobs as possible.

Organiser Terry Bryan and other representatives are due to meet management today to establish what options are open to workers.

Sector organiser John Dunne said the company had indicated it could redeploy staff from Borrisoleigh to Clonmel.“They are saying it could be open to people to transfer.”

He said as the the two locations are about 35 miles apart it may suit some workers but not others.

C&C said the trading environment in Ireland and Britain has been intensely competitive. It pointed out that centralising production in Clonmel would allow it to compete over the medium-term.