Wednesday 21 February 2018

Jewellery workers fear for 170 jobs

Kathryn Hayes and Michael Brennan

WORKERS at a factory, where almost 170 jobs are at risk, are fearing the worst after the company announced it is entering into liquidation.

Andersen Ireland employs 169 people in the west Limerick town of Rathkeale.

Staff at the jewellery manufacturing company have been on a three-day week for more than 12 months and were informed of the latest development yesterday.

A liquidator from KPMG will visit the facility on September 23 to examine whether there is any future for the company in Rathkeale.

The business will continue to trade until then and the liquidator will assess whether some positions can be protected. The liquidator will also address the issue of redundancies.

The Rathkeale facility manufactures costume jewellery and accessories, which are sold in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy. The parent company is in Vienna.

Some of the staff have been with the company for decades and include many husband and wives.

REDUNDANCIES

In a statement issued yesterday, the company said the liquidator would engage with employees at the "earliest opportunity" to assess whether some positions can be protected and to address the issue of redundancies as applicable.

"The market for costume jewellery in Europe has been impacted due to economic circumstances and increasing competition.

"While the business was insolvent in 2012, it suffered a significant reduction in the number of sales agents available to sell its products.

"The envisaged improvement in sales has not materialised to the extent required to keep the production facility viable, leading to significant losses this year, which make the steps taken necessary," the statement said.

SIPTU representatives will meet with the management of Andersen Ltd, Rathkeale, Co Limerick, on Tuesday to discuss the custom jewellery manufacturer's announcement.

Irish Independent

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