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Minister vows all State supports will be available to laid off National Pen staff

Minister vows all State supports will be available to laid off National Pen staff
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Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, has said every State support will be made available to workers being laid off by National Pen in Dundalk.

Staff were informed on May 8th that 176 jobs were to go at the Xerox Technology Park-based company. This includes 126 job losses and a further 50 that are being migrated to Japan.

Local TD Fergus O’Dowd wrote to Minister Humphreys in the wake of the news asking if she will make all available resources available to staff affected by job losses at the company. He also asked if discussions had taken place to offer the wage subsidy scheme to the company in the short term and asked her if she will make a statement on the matter.

In a written response sent to Deputy O’Dowd yesterday, Minister Humphreys said: “The announcement by National Pen that it is to seek redundancies at its Dundalk facility is deeply disappointing. My immediate concern is for the workers and families who have been impacted by this announcement. Many of these workers have been with the company for many years, which makes this news all the more difficult.

“The IDA have been in contact with senior management at National Pen and will continue to work closely with the company to support and maintain the Dundalk operation. The company has stated that it has experienced a significant decline in demand for its products. It has advised the IDA that the steps being taken now are necessary to secure the long-term future of the business and preserve the positions of the majority of the workers at the Dundalk operation.

“It is important to remember that, despite the loss of these roles, National Pen will continue to be a significant employer in the region. The company has confirmed that it remains committed to operating in Ireland and will retain 380 staff in Dundalk.

“The Government will make every State support available to employees impacted by this announcement. My Department, the Department of Social Protection, as well as our State Agencies, will all be doing their utmost to help workers transition and find new employment opportunities.

“IDA Ireland has already made the company aware of the Government supports that are available. I understand that the IDA will also be working with National Pen’s HR team to connect staff with other clients in the IDA portfolio in due course.

“Ireland’s economy, as we all know, is outward-facing, export-orientated and reliant to a large degree on global FDI. This means that when a multinational company makes decisions, either as result of Covid-19 or for other business reasons, we unfortunately can feel the impact here.

“However, the employment situation in Louth has been positive in recent years with over 4,400 staff employed in IDA firms in Louth, a more than threefold increase on 2010. The pipeline of new jobs has included significant investments from Wuxi Biologic, Panasonic, Wuxi Vaccines and PCI Pharma.”