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400 workers face dole as troubled firms wield axe

AROUND 400 jobs were on the line last night after two companies revealed plans to axe staff.

Pocket Kings in Cherrywood, Dublin, which provides IT and marketing support to the online Full Tilt Poker, said it would seek up to 250 redundancies to meet financial restructuring worth €12m.

And Allied Logistics, a subsidiary of Allied Foods, told its workers it would seek to dramatically reduce its workforce from 250 to just 75.

The job losses at Pocket Kings follow its forced removal from the US market and a need to reduce its operational costs.


Yesterday, the company said it would commence a 30-day consultation process with staff and estimated that "if all of the required cost savings were to be achieved through redundancies, approximately 250 positions could be affected".

The exact number of jobs cannot be confirmed until after this process, it said.

Last April, the Full Tilt Poker website was shut down in the US and its chief executive Raymond Bitar was charged with fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling. The prosecution led to the end of 'real money' play in the US and the suspension of its licence by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC), which oversees its activities.

In the meantime it remains unclear what duties its 700 Dublin-based staff have been carrying out since the shutdown in April.

Meanwhile, SIPTU said that it was to seek immediate talks with the Tallaght-based Allied Logistics in order to explore alternatives to the 175 redundancies sought there.

Management has said the situation arose after it lost its contract to distribute chilled and frozen products to Dunnes Stores.

It will also undertake a 30-day consultation period with staff.

"People are devastated at this point; it's a huge number of jobs to be lost in an area that has fairly high unemployment at the moment," said SIPTU's John White.

"There have been rumours for a long time about problems with Dunnes Stores contract but the announcement itself was definitely out of the blue.

"SIPTU will use this period to undertake a full and robust engagement with management concerning all alternatives to these proposed job losses."

Irish Independent