Talks at Youghal to avert 270 job losses


Conciliation talks between management at the Youghal Carpets plant in Cork and SIPTU, the main union there, will take place today in an effort to avert closure of the company and the loss of 270 jobs.

Last weekend, the firm abruptly announced the plant would close early in the New Year after SIPTU rejected rationalisation proposals. The company is seeking more than 100 redundancies in addition to the 40 workers who were let go two weeks ago, in the first phase of a rationalisation plan. The Mandate union, which represents middle management at the plant, has accepted the company's proposals.

Youghal Carpet Yarns said the downturn in demand for carpets had worldwide repercussions for the industry and the raw materials for carpet making which it supplies. The company said the terrorist attack on America last September had deepened the downturn and caused further problems in Europe and the US, where it had established its two main markets.

Today Mr Kevin Foley, of the Labour Relations Commission, will chair a conciliation conference which will be attended by SIPTU and management. If a deal can be brokered, SIPTU says it will be voted on by the workers immediately after Christmas.

Youghal Carpets, which once employed more than 1,000 people, remains a major employer in the east Cork area and contributes an estimated £4 million annually to Carrigtwohill and its hinterland.