‘Devastating blow’ for the region, says Senator
‘My first thoughts are with workers and their families’ – TD
Sligo News File Online.
Elanco has announced that the firm is cutting the work force at its pharma plant in Sligo. Some seventy jobs are to go, management of the global animal health company confirmed earlier today.
Rumours that another major operation may be also about to scale back its workforce has aroused concern about the future of industrial employment in the region.
Describing the Elanco decision as “as a devastating blow”, Fianna Fail Senator Marc MacSharry said it had come as “a terrible shock for workers at the facility.”
The company, a division of Eli Lilly, has been operating in Sligo since 1991.
Senator MacSharry said “the fact that up to 40% of the workforce is being made redundant is extremely worrying.
“This company has been a major employer in Sligo for over 2 decades and the majority of these workers are highly skilled in their field.”
Calling for government action, Senator MacSharry said Jobs Minister, Richard Bruton “must now step up to the mark.
“I am extremely concerned that this announcement coincides with rumours of impending job losses at a nearby medical devices company.”
Stating that Sligo has been a hub for the pharma industry for decades, employing hundreds of experienced and expert researchers, technicians and other skilled workers, he said
the Minister must intervene, along with the State’s industrial promotion agencies, “to engage in immediate discussions with Elanco and press strongly for the retention of these jobs.
“He must also set up a taskforce to engage with the affected workers to ensure that they are offered upskilling and retraining opportunities so that they can find alternative employment
He said the IDA has been integral in attracting foreign direct investment to Sligo and the North West region, “however its efforts have been stymied by a lack of Government support.
“Fine Gael and Labour have completely neglected this region, instead of fast-tracking vital access upgrades such as the N4.
“The Government’s lack of investment in key infrastructure makes a mockery of the IDAs efforts to attract and grow foreign direct investment in the region.”
Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim TD, Tony McLoughlin this evening spoke of his concern for those affected by today’s announcement.
“My first thoughts,” he said, “are with the workers and their families as they hear this difficult news today.
“I have spoken to Minister Bruton’s office and I am assured that all the supports of the State will be made available to workers affected.”
He said “I understand that this decision arises from a commercial decision taken by the company. The company have said in their statement that the site’s mission is not changing and that the company is determined to position the facility for the long-term
“Minister Bruton assures me that he and IDA Ireland will be working closely with the company to position it to win future investment from the parent company. Minister Bruton and IDA Ireland are also working hard to win alternative investments for Sligo
Deputy McLoughlin said the announcement by Elanco is a reminder that despite the progress being made in job-creation, “we have to fight hard to retain every job we have and to create new jobs. Thankfully we are winning this battle overall, with more jobs being created than are being lost:
“Across the country, 90,000 extra jobs have been added in the past 3 years. In 2008-2010 300,000 jobs were lost.
“In Sligo, 394 jobs were lost in companies supported by Enterprise Ireland between 2008-2010. In the past 3 years 306 jobs have been added in these companies.
“Across the border region which Sligo is part of, 14,000 extra jobs have been created in the past two years. Between 2008-2010 30,000 jobs were lost
“We have a long way to go, and today’s announcement is a strong reminder that we live in a highly competitive world and we have to fight to retain every job we have and to create new jobs.