Workers smile through gloom with cash windfall

UP to 500 workers have come smiling through the doom and gloom of budget week with huge financial windfalls as a “thank you” from the departing owners of the food company they work for.

All the workers at Pallas Foods in Newcastle West are to get cash thank you payments from the owners from the e175 million sale money. Each worker will get e1,500 for every year of service and for some the windfall will come to more than e30,000.

Pallas Foods in Newcastle West is owned by Timmy Geary and his family, and has been taken over by international food company Sysco Corporation.

One worker, who asked not to be named, said: “It is mighty news in the week that’s in it and it is a fine gesture by the Gearys and it is great to be appreciated like this.” And they’ve been told their jobs are safe. A spokesman for the company described the payments to staff as a “reward” for their service to the company.

The spokesman said: “The Gearys always perceived the company as a team and wished to express their appreciation to the workers for their part in growing the business.”

Most of the Pallas workers are based in Newcastle West and others work at the extensive network of depots throughout the country.

Pallas Foods has an annual turnover of e150m and Sysco, based in Texas, has an annual turnover of $37 billion (e28m).

JD Foley, president of Newcastle West Chamber of Commerce, said: “This very generous gesture by Pallas Foods is extremely positive and the Geary family are to be congratulated and thanked for their contribution to the local economy over the years.”

Limerick county councillor Patrick O’Donovan described the payments to the Pallas Foods workforce as an “extraordinary” gesture. He said: “Pallas Foods gives much-needed employment at a time when there is no inward foreign investment to this area.”


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