28/01/2016

Elanco Job Losses 'Devastating' - FF

The loss of up to one hundred jobs due to the closure of the Elanco facility in Sligo has been described as "devastating" for the North West region.

Elanco said that "competitiveness" was the main reason behind the closure decision.

Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim Senator Marc Mac Sharry, said: "The loss of these jobs will be a huge blow to the North West region. This facility has been operating in Sligo since 1991 and has been a major employer in the town. It's less than a year since the company embarked on a restructuring programme and despite my call for Minister Richard Bruton to set up a taskforce to engage with the company in a bid to retain the jobs, no such efforts were forthcoming.

Senator Sherry went on to criticise the government "failure to prioritise" the North West region.

"Fine Gael and Labour have spent the past five years targeting job creation in the Greater Dublin area, at the expense of the North West. In the last year there were a total of 28 IDA site visits across Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal. Cavan is the only county in the country were no site visit was recorded in 2015. In contrast, there were 242 visits in Dublin alone," the Senator said.

"This Government's attitude to job creation in the regions is scandalous. Fine Gael and Labour are trying to convince people that there's a recovery but the fact of the matter is that there were more jobs losses at IDA companies in Sligo in the last year than there were jobs created. The IDA is a major asset to this country in attracting foreign direct investment to this region, however this Government has failed to liaise with these companies to maintain competiveness and secure their future here.

"Today's announcement is a damning indictment of Fine Gael and Labour's attitude to the regions. We now have a situation where around 100 families have to reconsider their future. The Government should spend less time and money on glossy PR launches and instead focus on tackling issues such as competitiveness in order to protect existing jobs and future investment opportunities.

"I am calling on the Minister and the IDA to engage with the company to establish what can be done for the affected workers and their families and to ensure that they are assisted in finding alternative employment opportunities in the region."

(MH/CD)

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