TD’s call for Government to help Arklow factory workers

Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow, Pat Casey, has expressed his disappointment at the announcement today that Rondo Foods in Arklow is to close at the end of January with the loss of 150 Jobs.

The Arklow based TD is calling for the Government to find an alternative employer to utilise the site and create new jobs as a matter of urgency.

Deputy Casey said “Since the workers and management of Rondo were informed in November that the parent company based in Germany were contracting their operations, I have been working with the Arklow team in Rondo to prevent this closure and to ensure that the workers had professional advice to negotiate any redundancy package.

“Unfortunately, the German Company has decided not to engage constructively with the attempts by the workers and Enterprise Ireland to prevent this closure. It is essential that Rondo put in place an enhanced redundancy package and employment supports for the 150 workers in the Arklow factory. This company has benefitted from the hard work of the Arklow workforce and must ensure that it makes every effort to ensure that every worker receives the support they deserve.

“I am calling on the Government to treat this as an emergency and ensure that an alternative employer is found for the site in Arklow. The highly skilled and motivated workforce provide an excellent opportunity to any manufacturing industry. Enterprise Ireland have a major role to play here also and must ensure that alternative employers are sourced for Arklow.

“While this is a dark day for Arklow employment I am convinced that employment and investment opportunities are in the pipeline. Arklow’s new waste water treatment plant, it’s location on the N/M11 and the arrival of a major Data Centre Development all point to a brighter future and I and the Fianna Fáil team in Arklow will ensure that this happens,” he concluded.

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 as to 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 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 back. 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 shows that fact.

“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 by Government and that all available resources, including 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.”

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