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Talk Talk pull-out further compounds jobs crisis in South East

The devastating job losses at TalkTalk in Waterford have compounded a deep unemployment crisis in the south-east, a region which has suffered almost 1,500 lay-offs in recent years.

The scaling back of iconic firms such as Waterford Crystal and global pharmaceuticals such as Teva saw hundreds of people joining the dole queue with little prospect of finding more work.

Latest figures show 60,790 men and women in the south-east were claiming unemployment benefits in August, up 1.2pc from last year.

Unite trade union said the closure of TalkTalk is another hammer blow to the people of the city and the country.

"Job losses not only affect those on the receiving end, they have a wider impact on the community, with less money available and less confidence," said a spokesman.

Other high-profile job losses in the region include:

- Healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline cut its workforce in Dungarvan by 130 in March this year. More than 700 people were employed at the site.

- In September 2009 workers at Teva, one of the biggest pharmaceutical factories in the region, were told 315 jobs would go at the plant. The inhaler and tablet manufacturer employed about 730 people.

- Electronic components firm ABB Transformers revealed it planned to close its plant in Waterford by the end of March 2010, with the loss of 178 jobs. The factory had been in operation since 1951 and joined the ABB group of companies in 1992, manufacturing distribution transformers for the construction and utility markets in Ireland and the UK.

- Almost 500 jobs were axed at Waterford Crystal when the company went into receivership during 2009. At one stage the famous glass maker in Kilbarry had more than 3,000 workers - it is now down to fewer than 100 staff.

- Contact lens maker Bausch & Lombe announced 195 lay-offs in March 2009. The US-based eye care specialist blamed slowing global demand for the cuts to its 1,400 workforce - already on a shorter working time. The facility opened in 1980 and is one of the biggest employers in the south-east.

- French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis decided to close its Irish manufacturing facility in March 2007, with 200 jobs lost at its Waterford plant by the end of that year.