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Another bleak day as 150 jobs on the line

THE economy was dealt another employment blow last night with the loss of almost 100 jobs at one company and 50 more jobs under threat at another plant.

Medical equipment manufacturer Pall Ireland is expected to close its Tipperary plant by the end of May, with the loss of 71 permanent and 23 temporary jobs.

And in Co Waterford, trade union SIPTU said it had opened negotiations with Cappoquin Poultry over the possible loss of up to 50 jobs at the plant.

Pall told workers at its Tipperary plant yesterday that it planned to "consolidate" its manufacturing operations into another company facility by closing and selling the plant by the end of May.

The company said it would begin a 30-day information and consultation process with workers.

Pall Ireland general manager David O'Driscoll said they were using "a fraction" of the available capacity of the Tipperary plant and this was hitting costs.

The consolidation was designed to strengthen the company's competitive position, reduce fixed and operating costs and move operations closer to customers.

"This has not been an easy decision and Pall Ireland is committed to treating employees with dignity and respect," Mr O'Driscoll said.

"The company will be assisting and supporting everyone affected by today's announcement to help make the transition as painless as possible."

South Tipperary TD and junior minister Martin Mansergh said the closure of Pall was a serious blow to employment in the area and vowed to work with the IDA to enter talks with the company.

In Co Waterford, SIPTU said it had opened negotiations with Cappoquin Poultry following its "horrendous" announcement to restructure the business with the possible loss of 50 jobs.

"The union understood from our initial meeting with the company that the reason for the restructuring was due to the increase in feed costs," SIPTU assistant industrial organiser Terry Bryan said.

Irish Independent