Musgrave to axe 143 posts in depot closure
UP TO 143 jobs are to go as a result of a reorganisation of its distribution network by the Musgrave supermarket group.
The group yesterday confirmed plans to close its Galway outlet at the end of June.
Some 55 workers will have first option on transferring to the Musgrave distribution depot in Kilcock.
The company confirmed 70 full-time and up to 18 part-time jobs at the Galway depot would be lost with the closure of the depot on the Tuam Road, on the outskirts of Galway city.
The cash-and-carry operation, also based at the Tuam Road site, is not affected by yesterday's announcement.
Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland (MRPI) said the move followed a comprehensive review to identify cost savings and efficiencies in the group. The number of distribution depots will now be cut from five to four.
The company said that MRPI and its retail partners, SuperValu and Centra, were operating in an extremely difficult market which had contracted by 7pc last year. Competition was intense due to continued consumer demand for lower prices and competition from cross-border shopping.
Last year, the company invested €235m in price reductions to combat a wave of price cuts by the major supermarket chains.
The move ensured that both SuperValu and Centra "outperformed" their respective markets last year, MRPI insisted.
Once the Galway depot closes, the MRPI workforce will be 1,550, based in Cork, Dublin and Kildare. A further 30,000 are employed in the SuperValu and Centra stores.
Managing director of MRPI, Donal Horgan said: "Our decision today will result in a net loss of 70 full-time jobs. . . and 55 new roles will be created by the transfer of activity to Kilcock. Our Galway employees will have first option to transfer into these roles.
"Where transfer is not an option, we are putting in place a significant outplacement support programme."
SIPTU sectoral organiser Michael Kilcoyne described the news as a sad day for Galway and particularly for the workers at the MRPI depot.
"The very regrettable job losses up to now were almost all with the multi-nationals, but now the solid core of Irish company employment is being affected.
"Anyone who has worked with Musgrave will tell you it was like working for a family."