THE Hi-Cone manufacturing facility in Mallow is set to close its doors in June with the loss of 25 full-time jobs.
ONE of Mallow's oldest companies, Hi-Cone, is set to close its facility at the Quartertown Industrial Estate in June with the loss of 25 full-time jobs.
Staff at the facility in Quartertown were called to a meeting last Thursday to be told the plant would be relocating to Spain.
SIPTU spokesman John Cooney said the news "came like a bolt out of the blue" to staff.
Local Labour town councillor Jerry Mullally said he was saddened at the closure of the plant after 35 years. "Hi-Cone always had the reputation of being a good employer," he said.
It is believed that staff at the plant, which manufactures plastic ring carriers for bottles and beverage cans, were informed of the closure at a meeting with company management last Thursday afternoon.
When contacted by The Corkman a spokesman for the company declined to comment.
SIPTU spokesman John Cooney told The Corkman that workers at the plant, which serves as Hi-Cone's UK, Ireland and Iceland office, were told the company would be relocating to one of their plants in Spain.
"The company has always been a great local employer with many staff members having worked there for a long time. They were understandably devastated at the news," said Mr Cooney.
He said that the company, which opened in Mallow in 1978, had undergone a restructuring process a number of years ago with the loss of a small number of jobs.
However, Mr Cooney said news that the plant will close its doors for good in June came as a huge shock to the workforce.
"This is terrible news for the workers and their families. This came like a bolt out of the blue for them," he said.
Mr Cooney said that union representatives will meet with Hi-Cone management over the coming weeks to discuss redundancy terms and the orderly closing down of the Mallow manufacturing plant.
Local Labour town councillor Jerry Mullally said he was saddened to hear that the plant would be closing.
"Hi-Cone always had the reputation of being a good employer, providing good, high-quality jobs for local people, many of whom had worked there for many years. This news could not have come at a worse time for them given the current economic climate," said Cllr Mullally.
"This was obviously a decision that was taken at a very high level and will not be reversed. I would call on management to now enter into meaningful negotiations with unions and workers to secure fair redundancy terms," he added.
Describing the news as a "bitter blow to the local economy", Cllr Mullally called on the government to take immediate action to bring new jobs to Mallow, which he said had become one of Cork's "unemployment blackspots"
"We have lost a number of key employers in recent years. While there is the prospect of new jobs through developments such as the one planned by Dairygold, these could take years to materialise," said Cllr Mullally.
"In the meantime urgent action needs to be taken to address the seriously high-levels of unemployment in Mallow and the surrounding area."