More than 90 jobs to go as medical plant shuts

 

MORE THAN 90 jobs are to be lost in a medical equipment manufacturer in Tipperary while, separately, a further 50 positions are under threat in a Waterford chicken factory.

In Tipperary town, 94 full-time and part-time jobs are to go after Pall announced it is to close its medical device manufacturing operations at the end of May.

David O’Driscoll, general manager of Pall Ireland, said that the plant was underutilised.

“We have a plant in Tipperary where we are only using a fraction of the available capacity. This impacts our costs. The consolidation is designed to strengthen the company’s competitive position, reduce fixed and operating costs and move operations closer to customers,” he said.

“We sincerely regret the impact of the closure on our employees and their families,” he added.

The announcement followed a 30-day information and consultation process with 71 permanent and 23 temporary employees.

Minister of State Dr Martin Mansergh said the move was a serious blow to employment in Tipperary as it was the last multinational employer in the town. Fine Gael Tipperary South TD Tom Hayes said it was a “black day for Tipperary”.

Meanwhile, the Cappoquin Poultry Ltd plant in Co Waterford could lose up to 50 jobs, Siptu said.

The union said it had opened negotiations with the company following its announcement on possible job cuts at the plant.

“The union understood from our initial meeting with the company that the reason for the restructuring is due to the increase in feed costs,” said Terry Bryan, assistant industrial organiser with the union.

“This is a company which needs State support if we are to stand any chance of saving these jobs,” he added, calling on the Government to do all in its power to support employment in the food sector.

“Negotiations will continue with the company in the coming days to try to minimise the job losses and to secure a fair and reasonable redundancy package for any members that are let go.”

He said the affected jobs were in the food and export sector in which all political parties said they would invest and it was now time to nail their colours to the mast for the people of the area.

The company was purchased by Derby Poultry in the UK in 2008 when it went into examinership. It was reopened later that year, with a focus on the production of halal chicken, re-employing more than half of the 200 workers.

No one was available for comment at the plant yesterday evening.