Tipperary firm to close with loss of 220 jobs

TIPPERARY town's biggest employer is to close with the loss of 220 jobs. Tambrands was located there for 20 years.

TIPPERARY town's biggest employer is to close with the loss of 220 jobs. Tambrands was located there for 20 years.

The US based company, which manufactures Tampax tampons, also announced the closure of three other plants as part of a global rationalisation strategy. This will cost 600 jobs, or 17 per cent of the company's international workforce. The other plants affected are in the United States, France and Russia.

The director of manufacturing, Mr John O'Meara, said in a statement that every possible way of keeping the Tipperary factory open had been examined, but in the end the decision was forced on the company by global overcapacity.

The West Tipperary Enterprise Group held an emergency meeting last night following the announcement that the plant will close at the end of next month.


The local enterprise group called on the Minister for Enterprise and Employment, Mr Richard Bruton, to put a special package in place, putting Tipperary town on the priority list for new industry.

Mr Michael Ferris, the Tipperary South Labour TD, urged the Minister to put up a special grant incentive package for Tipperary now that the town has 1,000 unemployed.

The area director of IDA Ireland in the south east, Mr Barry Condron, regretted the closure and said the IDA was now assessing the situation and the plant's potential. He added. "We would be marketing the plant and the trained workforce overseas."

Mr William Kinnane, secretary of the West Tipperary Enterprise Group, said. "It was seen as a resident employer in the area, where a person was guaranteed a job for life."

The major employer in west Tipperary was estimated to be, generating about £5 million for the town in wages and services annually.

"The effect on the town and area will be astronomical. A lot of the employees were mature people in their late 20s and early 30s," said Mr Kinnane.

Mr Michael Ferris said the closure was a terrible and devastating blow and a huge shock, even though there had been indications for some time that the company internationally had marketing difficulties."

Since 1992 the plant has cut its workforce by 80 and last year it announced a further planned redundancy programme which had not yet been implemented. In recent years Tambrands has closed plants in Brazil, Germany, Canada, South Africa, Mexico and the US.

Mr O'Meara, praising the Irish workforce for its commitment said. "This decision is being taken only after the most careful consideration and been taken with deep regret."

Workers were told of the decision at noon yesterday. In a small number of cases certain technical staff may be offered an opportunity to relocate to Havant in Britain and the company will be offering comprehensive severance and out placement packages to those employees who are unable to relocate or who cannot be placed in new positions.

Tambrands Inc has its headquarters in White Plains, New York, and has been manufacturing for 60 years.

Last night the Minister for Enterprise and Employment, Mr Bruton, said he had set up an inter-agency group to be chaired by Mr Condron of the IDA. The urgent task of the group would be to ensure that the Tambrands plant can be made available for alternative investment.