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Sinn Féin offer to help Dungannon Meats find new contracts to stave off possible job losses

13 January, 2005

Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesperson, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP, Michelle Gildernew, has offered to help Dungannon Meats work on developing new contracts in an attempt to stave off threatened job losses.

Responding to the possibility of job losses Michelle Gildernew said:

"With the loss of Sainsburys as a key contract, Dungannon meats have found themselves in the position were they feel they are forced to consider redundancies. I would appeal to Dungannon meats not to overreact and to offer my services and those of key advisers to approach alternative supermarkets if Dungannon Meats believe that our assistance would be of help.

"We believe that the current recession in the meat industry is in large part caused by the continuing beef ban. Sinn Féin has worked tirelessly to ensure the beef export ban is lifted. In fact, we have a commitment from Tony Blair that he will intensify efforts to have the ban lifted and we would like to see that achieved as soon as possible.

"At the moment the meat industry here is much too reliant on British supermarket chains because we cannot sell our beef to the rest of the world. We believe however that in the short term the meat industry can survive this setback in light of the fact that in the longer term more markets will be available.

"This January, bearing in mind the bills and loans that we are all paying off, our thoughts are very much with the workers in Dungannon Meats and our efforts are targeted at ensuring their financial security in the New Year." ENDS

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