Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has said that confirmation this afternoon of the closure of Rondo Food in Arklow is ‘a devastating blow’ for workers and their families two weeks out from Christmas.
Teachta Brady said:
“I have had continuous engagement with the workers at Rondo Food since news first broke of what many believed to be the imminent closure of Rondo Food in Arklow. Sadly, that news has been confirmed this afternoon.
“While Rondo Food have again alluded to their 30 day consultation period in their latest press release this afternoon, I do not think anyone believes that Rondo Food considered any other options aside from re-location. I believe that decision was made long before any consultation period.
“Today is about the workers at Rondo Food and their families. These workers have given years of commitment to Rondo Food and unfortunately Rondo Food are not showing any ounce of commitment in return. The fact that Rondo Food refused to do the right thing by the 157 workers they are letting go and engage with the Workplace Relations Commission bears that out.
“The government now need to step up to the mark. Rondo Food has received sizeable amounts of taxpayers’ money over many years; €400,000 in funding from Enterprise Ireland since 2011, as has been confirmed to me. We now need to see the same level of investment by government in Arklow as Rondo Food closes its doors at the end of January.
“In fact, some of that Enterprise Ireland funding should be recouped, particularly if it does not meet the terms in which it was granted to Rondo Food who have now decided to cut and run.
“All of our energy now must go into ensuring that an Employment Taskforce is established and that all available resources, including action by the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, are put into ensuring that alternative employment is developed in the Arklow area. I will work with all stakeholders to make this happen.”