BorgWarner to close Co Kerry manufacturing plant will loss of 210 jobs

Workers at air heater firm express shock at news they are to lose their jobs

US multinational BorgWarner is close its air heater manufacturing plant in Co Kerry after three decades with the loss of over 200 jobs.

Workers expressed their shock after learning about the closure of BorgWarner in Tralee on Tuesday. The company makes electric air heaters at its plant at the Monavalley Industrial Estate.

Members of Siptu are seeking a meeting with local management to seek an explanation for the closure of the plant which employs some 210 staff.

Siptu organiser Joe Kelly said a meeting was scheduled with management on Thursday "to discuss in detail the reason for this decision which has caused shock and concern among workers and the wider community in Tralee.


“We will be seeking to explore if there is a possibility of maintaining any level of production in Tralee. If this cannot be achieved, we will do all in our power to ensure the best terms and conditions for our members affected by the closure.”

BorgWarner is headquartered in Michigan and has over 60 plants employing some 29,000 staff in 18 countrie. The firm said it regretted the closure but declining customer demand for the air heaters, produced in Tralee, meant the standalone manufacturing facility was no longer viable.

According to BorgWarner, the proposed closure is part of a series of market-driven adjustments including restructuring, closure and consolidation of manufacturing and technical centres by the company to adapt its cost structure in order to remain competitive in the current environment.

Anton Diaz, MD of BorgWarner Tralee said: "Today is a difficult day for everyone at BorgWarner Tralee. This facility has been part of this community for over 30 years and the leadership team is very grateful to all BorgWarner Tralee employees for their dedication and contribution."

Mr Diaz said the company will now enter consultation with employee representatives at the site and, in the event of redundancies, will endeavour to provide a financial package and supports to the 210 impacted employees, which recognises their service and commitment to BorgWarner Tralee.

Mr Diaz reiterated that the company is very aware of the local impact this decision has on Tralee and North Kerry and will actively engage with employees and local community representatives to support however possible.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times