More than 200 wait to hear if jobs still safe
THE future of more than 200 jobs hung in the balance last night in three different companies.
Accountancy firm Grant Thornton will be appointed as receiver to Waterford-based Ellickson Engineering later today, putting the future of 80 jobs in jeopardy.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has confirmed it will close its Shanbally, Co Cork, plant two years ahead of schedule, which could result in the loss of 75 jobs.
And 55 workers at a quarry in Co Tipperary also await news of their fate after a receiver was appointed to construction materials firm Kelly's of Fantane.
Ellickson Engineering has been closed for business since last week and it is understood the receiver is being put in by Bank of Ireland to assess the finances of the firm.
The company, which manufactures and distributes light engineering products, has operations in Kilmurray, Waterford and in Dublin and was founded in 1969.
An internal e-mail sent by management to staff, told workers yesterday that a receivership is imminent.
"The best option to secure as many positions as possible was to invite the bank to appoint a receiver," it stated.
"We expect, that upon taking up the position, the receiver will review all operations and begin discussions with all employees, customers and suppliers with the express interest of getting as many people back to work as possible."
The latest accounts for the firm show that while it had sales of over €20m in 2008, its difficulties include a €5.5m exposure to Waterford Business Park while the company also suffered a write-down of €2m in the value of its investments.
Ernst & Young, the company's auditor, resigned at the end of last year because of financial irregularities at the firm.
According to a letter from the auditor, the decision was taken after allegations were made by a former employee "regarding the probity of certain purchase invoices and related payments made by the company".
It is understood that workers at Kelly's heard yesterday that Brian McHenry, from HPC in Co Limerick, has been appointed to review the company's affairs following the collapse of the construction sector.
Pfizer said yesterday it is closing the plant after it was unable to find a buyer for it.
Meanwhile, mobile phone company 3 is creating 50 jobs. The jobs are in finance, product development and retail and will be based in Dublin as well as in outlets across the country.