Procter & Gamble announced it is shedding 280 jobs in Tipperary while Bourns Electronics is to lose 80 in Cork. Meanwhile, Motorola confirmed that 330 high-tech jobs are to go with the closure of its Cork plant, which had already been warned. A further 98 jobs went in Dublin when electronics supply firm Zomax/MPO shut its plant in Blanchardstown.
The news follows other job losses announced last month. Over 500 jobs are to go at Pfizer in Cork, while 200 jobs at Canadian firm Thomson Scientific in Limerick are being lost to India. French firm FCI in Fermoy, County Cork is also making 200 workers redundant.
Regional secretary of the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union Michael O’Reilly demanded a national task force to tackle job losses, saying: “This is a national crisis and requires a national response.”
“We have to address the escalating job losses in manufacturing so as to guard against the potential collapse of our enterprise base … There is no room for complacency. For every job lost in the export-manufacturing sector, several more are lost in downstream manufacturing and service sectors. Added to that is the loss of household and community revenue and our skill base,” he added.
But the government denied the Irish jobs market was in crisis and rejected the union leader’s call for a task force, despite the news coming on top of recent job losses.
“Overall, 25,000 jobs were lost last year, whereas 86,000 were created. In the first two months of this year, there has been a similar pattern, with job losses being up by about 300, no more,” said Enterprise, Trade and Employment Minister Miche_l Martin.
“We can’t regress to Hungarian or Mexican wages. The economy is too far advanced,” he added.
Workers at Procter & Gamble in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary were told to take last Tuesday off and attend meetings on Wednesday. A press report from Cincinnati where the company is headquartered, heralded the news late on Tuesday night, before staff were told formally the next morning that 280 jobs out of 500 are to go at the plant which has been operating in the town for 26 years. The sadness and anger was tinged with even some relief, as there were fears of a complete pull-out from Tipperary with production transferring to a new