Saturday 20 January 2018

Jobs joy for 250, but 60 posts go as plant shuts

Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

TWO firms have given one county a 200-jobs boost, but 60 were lost when a company went into liquidation after seven decades in business.

Call centre provider Voxpro and meat processor Kepak made the announcement of 200 new positions for Cork.

And 50 jobs are to be created by Europcar with the opening of new branches of Europe's biggest car rental company in Navan and Galway.

But 60 workers at Curragh Carpets in Newbridge, Co Kildare, were told the company was to close.

On Leeside, Voxpro has already begun recruiting multi-linguists to fill 100 technical support positions at its base in the city.

And meat processor Kepak will add 100 jobs to the existing 550 at its consumer foods facility at Watergrasshill in north Cork, just off the main motorway to Dublin.

Voxpro is an Irish success story, having started 14 years ago with just six employees. The latest announcement will see the company grow to 330 workers.

The company operates in 12 languages and provides services to more than 300 Irish and global organisations and companies.

Voxpro CEO Dan Kiely said it was his intention that the firm would continue to increase in size and coverage.

"When my wife Linda and I set up this company 14 years ago, we had a team of six people," he said.

"Today we are Ireland's leading provider of 24/7 technical customer management in business process outsourcing.

As part of a day-long series of events, Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited Voxpro and made the announcement.

He later said there would be further job creation in the future.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, who's from Cork, said he was delighted that Kepak, an Irish company, was continuing to grow.

At Europcar, the 50 new jobs will be in the customer services, reservations, finance, fleet services and vehicle maintenance departments.

Colm Brady, Europcar Ireland's business development director, said: "Our business is experiencing strong growth and we are embarking on an expansion phase to capitalise on that growth.

"The creation of 50 jobs and the opening of these two new branches show the extent of our ambition for the Irish market."

Shock

However, the news was grim at Curragh Carpets in Co Kildare, where 60 people lost their jobs.

SIPTU claimed employees whose families had worked at the factory for generations were called to a midday meeting and told to leave the premises.

Union organiser Miriam Hamilton said: "The closure of this long-established manufacturing plant has left the workers in a state of shock."

Curragh Carpets was the successor to Ireland's oldest carpet manufacturer, Irish Rope, and had been in business for 70 years.

"Generations of the same families in the Kildare area have been employed at the carpet plant," Ms Hamilton said.

Irish Independent

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