The biggest brick manufacturer in Ireland has fallen victim to the slump in house-building and its workforce was told today that all but a handful of them are to be made redundant.
Union officials were called in by Tyrone Brick in Dungannon to be told 95% of the 65-strong unionised workforce was to be paid off.
Betting on a swift upturn in house building - and losing - the company had kept production going at its three sites in the Co Tyrone town and built up a massive stockpile of 35 million bricks. It has nowhere to put any more.
Unite regional officer Philip Oakes said: ``We are in a 30-day consultation period with regards to redundancy. The company are saying three production staff will be kept on for special projects - essentially to sort bricks to order – and the other 62 will be made redundant.''
Mr Oakes said: ``What they are saying is they have over-produced. They kept production running in the hope the housing market would turn around and that hasn't happened.
Including administrative staff, the company employs 83 people and it was not immediately clear how many, if any, of the office staff were also facing redundancy.