Ireland was hit by its third jobs blow in three days tonight with the announcement that the Irish Ispat steel-manufacturing works in Cork are to close with 400 redundancies.
The Ispat company bought the former Irish Steel corporation from the Dublin government for a nominal £1 five years ago.
In a statement they said attempts had been made to implement cost-reduction and production-increase proposals but the plans ‘‘did not seem to have sufficient support from trade union officials’’.
The company also said they had been operating under difficult marketing conditions and had experienced a 40% increase in its wages bill. The closure decision had been taken in view of continuing losses, running at ‘‘an unsustainable level of £750,000 a month.’’
Tanaiste and Enterprise, Trade and Employment Minister Mary Harney said she was ‘‘dismayed’’ at the Irish Ispat announcement, calling it ‘‘a devastating blow to the workforce and their families.’’
Ms Harney said she would be keeping in close touch with developments affecting the company’s plans and urged all parties involved to what they could in the limited time remaining to work towards finding solutions to the current difficulties.
Yesterday the Xerox company said 400 jobs were to go through the closure of part of their complex in Dundalk, Co Louth, and in another move 100 posts were lost after the closedown of a toothpaste-manufacturing plant in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, by the GlaxoSmithKline multinational healthcare company.
And on Wednesday, 120 jobs disappeared when a weaving factory in Wexford went into liquidation.
On the credit side, PepsiCo, the makers of Pepsi Cola, today unveiled plans to launch a £140m project in Cork that will generate 250 jobs over a five year period.