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Crowe meets Jacobs Shop Stewards on job losses

2 February, 2008

Sinn Fein spokesperson Sean Crowe met with worker representatives in Jacobs Belgard Road, Tallaght this week following the announcement by Chief Executive Officer Michael Carey that he plans to close the plant with the loss of 220 jobs. Crowe said he gave a commitment to the workers to support and highlight their legitimate demands for a decent redundancy package. He also agreed with the representatives that existing pensioners would have to be included in any future deal worked out between the workforce and the Jacob's /Fruitfield management.

Sean Crowe sadi, "Today's meeting covered a wide range of topics but primarily focused on the imminent job losses and closure. "The Jacobs/ Fruitfield workers gave me a detailed report on last year's management's plan, which they were assured, would keep the plant open.

"This plan included redundancies, cost savings and flexibility in work practices.

"Although imaginative these significant measures would appear to have made no real difference to a management team that was determined to close and eventually offload its considerable assets.

"Over shadowing these job losses is the undeniable fact that despite public assurances, the huge profits from the rezoning of the site in Whitestown were not reinvested in new machinery and never invested in saving jobs in Tallaght.

"The Jacobs/Fruitfield management already have a company stripping the old Whitestown Industrial site. They have sold many of their well well known brands and now seem intent on offloading the workers and the plant in Belgard, Tallaght.

"The public announcements by Senior management about their commitment to Tallaght and its workers are meaningless, when scrutinised closely.

"The CEO Michael Carey has said he has put aside 10 million euro for redundancies and retraining. This figure may sound substantial, but it is totally unrealistic in view of the length of service of many workers. It is not uncommon for members of staff to have served over 30 years in Belgard and in the Bishop Street site in Dublin's South Inner City.

"This management can't claim the company is in debt or short strapped to pay a fair and decent redundancy package. The Jacobs/ Fruitfield Company is asset rich "The Jacobs site on the Belgard Road alone is estimated to be worth over a 100 million.

"This site combined with a rezoned Whitestown site leaves management in a cash and asset rich environment. Surely it is not unreasonable to suggest that loyal workers and pensioners, who built this company up over the years, should receive a fair share and compensation from these assets." ENDS

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