Tuesday 21 October 2014

End of the road for Avon ladies

Anger at lack of formal notice

Donal Nolan

Published 10/04/2013 | 05:36

Village at the cross-roads: Members of the just formed, Kilcolgan and District Residents Association pictured at The Crooked Cross in Ballylongford on Sunday afternoon. Included are from left: Kieran Parkinson, Tim Mahoney, Teresa Parkinson, Kitty McElligott, Michael O'Connor and Patsy O'Shea. Photo by John Reidy

KERRY employees of Avon Products, the door-to-door cosmetics seller, are bitterly angry after the company announced the closure of its Irish operations on Monday - without personally notifying workers here.

The 'Avon Ladies' will no longer be calling to houses across the county after the Irish wing of the US-based company was closed on Monday. For one woman who has worked for the company for 20 years the news came as a bitter blow as it means that neither she nor her husband has any work. That she only found out when she read a notice on the Avon website on Monday while attempting to complete an order has compounded her bitterness over the closure.

"I feel really sad and angry about it and I'm just going out to do my final delivery now after 20 years working for Avon," Tarbert resident Teresa Parkinson (pictured) said. Ms Parkinson worked for Avon for 11 years in the UK and nine years here since relocating to her husband's home.

She said the manner in which she found out - from a terse notice on the company website - was regrettable. "I contacted my manager on Monday morning and she hadn't even been told about it, but she got a conference call at 11am on Monday to say the plug was being pulled."

Avon Products had representatives in most Kerry communities. "I covered Tarbert and I know there were ladies covering Ballylongford and Moyvane in my neighbouring areas. It was fantastic work and I just loved meeting so many people. It certainly wasn't a large income but it was some supplement for us and never more important than at present. My husband is out of work and now my time is fully my own as well," Teresa said.

The closure of Avon's Irish operation is part of a cost cutting measure the company is undertaking globally in a bid to cut 400 jobs and save $400 million by 2016.


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