The news about the job losses at National Pen this evening has come has a ‘hammer blow’ to the workers in the Dundalk facility, Louth TD Ruairí Ó Murchú has said.
The news came in a company statement which said that it will cease its fulfilment operations at the centre and move the jobs to the Czech Republic.
The Sinn Féin TD, who raised the issue of National Pen redundancies in Leinster House in 2020, when 270 jobs were lost, said: ‘This is a hammer blow to the people who are losing their jobs in National Pen, coming as it does at the start of a new year.
‘The only good thing is that those who are being made redundant have not had their jobs advertised before they were told they were losing their positions in Dundalk, like their former colleagues in 2020.
‘Eighteen months ago, National Pen advertised positions in Tunisia for foreign language sales teams that were based in Dundalk before the workers were told by email that their jobs were being moved.
‘Like on that occasion, the news has come out of the blue on a Friday.
‘At that time, I wrote to National Pen seeking assurances for the workers who were losing their jobs then and for those who were still there. The company did not respond.
‘While National Pen has been a large employer in Dundalk for nearly 35 years, I am fearful of what their long-term plan for their local facility is, despite their assurances to the IDA and the government.
‘This the second major set of job losses in 18 months.
‘There is no doubt that this announcement will be felt far and wide around the community of Dundalk and further afield.
‘Those who are losing their jobs need to have every effort made to ensure that the necessary supports will be in place for them and they have the opportunity to find employment.
‘Furthermore National Pen is not unionised and we are facing a situation again where workers will have to negotiate their own exit packages.
‘Promises have been made by the company today about the ‘attractive’ redundancy packages they will offer, but the firm needs to be mindful of its past errors and we need to ensure negotiations with management need to takes place on a fair playing field.’