Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Job Losses

Ruairi Ó Murchú (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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636. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if her attention has been drawn to the 176 redundancies announced by a company in Dundalk, County Louth, on 8 May 2020; if her attention has been further drawn to the fact that many of the redundant positions are being advertised in Tunisia; the engagement her Department has had with the company ahead of and after the redundancies announcement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6694/20]

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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639. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if she will make all available resources available to staff affected by job losses announced by a company (details supplied) in County Louth; if discussions have taken place to offer the wage subsidy scheme to the company in the short term; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6812/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 636 and 639 together.

The announcement by National Pen that it is to seek redundancies at its Dundalk facility is deeply disappointing. My immediate concern is for the workers and families who have been impacted by this announcement. Many of these workers have been with the company for many years, which makes this news all the more difficult.

The IDA have been in contact with senior management at National Pen and will continue to work closely with the company to support and maintain the Dundalk operation. The company has stated that it has experienced a significant decline in demand for its products. It has advised the IDA that the steps being taken now are necessary to secure the long-term future of the business and preserve the positions of the majority of the workers at the Dundalk operation.

It is important to remember that, despite the loss of these roles, National Pen will continue to be a significant employer in the region. The company has confirmed that it remains committed to operating in Ireland and will retain 380 staff in Dundalk.

The Government will make every State support available to employees impacted by this announcement. My Department, the Department of Social Protection, as well as our State Agencies, will all be doing their utmost to help workers transition and find new employment opportunities.

IDA Ireland has already made the company aware of the Government supports that are available. I understand that the IDA will also be working with National Pen’s HR team to connect staff with other clients in the IDA portfolio in due course.

Ireland’s economy, as we all know, is outward-facing, export-orientated and reliant to a large degree on global FDI. This means that when a multinational company makes decisions, either as result of Covid-19 or for other business reasons, we unfortunately can feel the impact here.

However, the employment situation in Louth has been positive in recent years with over 4,400 staff employed in IDA firms in Louth, a more than threefold increase on 2010. The pipeline of new jobs has included significant investments from Wuxi Biologic, Panasonic, Wuxi Vaccines and PCI Pharma.

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