More job losses for Southside

Wednesday, 06 October 2010

THE Southside suffered another devastating blow on the jobs front last week as the latest live register figures revealed how the area has been one of the worst affected in the country.
The figures were released as nearly 200 employees at a fire and security company in South Dublin were told they were likely to lose their jobs in the coming months.
The latest unemployment blow for the area came as the UTC Fire and Security plant in Citywest announced that it was relocating its manufacturing operations to alternative sites in the US and Mexico.
Employees at the firm were told last week that a consultation period about the job losses would begin while the company decided whether to downsize or close its operation in Ireland entirely.
SIPTU Assistant Branch Organiser, Karl Byrne, said the announcement had shocked and devastated its 126 members working at the plant.
The proposed redundancies will affect approximately 195 permanent employees in total over a phased period of approximately 13 months.
“SIPTU members have contributed to the viability of the company considerably over the past few years through pay freezes and changes to work practices,” he said. “Our members have suffered already, only to be repaid with this devastating news.”
He added: “We will be seeking an early engagement with the company to try and save as many jobs as possible.”
Deputy Pat Rabbitte (Lab) said the job losses were a massive blow to the workers and the local economy in the area.
John Brocke, Director of Operations at UTC, said the company had made the decision to locate their manufacturing operations to other sites abroad to take advantage of existing manufacturing capacity to improve productivity.
“The proposed actions are necessary to realign our business for today’s market realities,” he stated.
The bad news came as politicians across the Southside called on the Government to come up with viable initiatives to create jobs for the area.
The latest live register figures released last week showed that some parts of the Southside were among the worst affected unemployment black spots in the country.
The numbers of those signing on in the Dun Laoghaire area have increased by over 112 per cent in the last 24 months.
A total of 8,449 people were signing on at the end of August this year compared to almost 3,980 in August 2008.
Cllr Barry Ward (FG) urged the Government to help employers keep on some of their employees by subsidising their salaries.
“The Government needs new ideas to stem the flow of jobs out of Dún Laoghaire,” he said.
“I want to see schemes like those in Europe that support businesses by allowing them to keep employees that would otherwise have been laid off, by temporarily subsidising their salaries,” he said.
“Given that it costs the Exchequer at least e20,000 per annum per unemployed person, this kind of scheme would keep people in work and off the dole, and prevent the loss of skills and experience.”
In the Dublin 2 and Dublin 4 areas, the latest CSO figures show that the number of those signing on at the Apollo House Social Welfare Office has increased from 1,640 in August 2008 to 3,164 at the end of August this year.
At Bishop’s Square, which serves the Dublin 6 and 6W areas, the figure was 4,783 in August 2008 and had risen to 9,538 in August 2010 – an increase of over 93 per cent.
Deputy Lucinda Creighton (FG) said: “The Government is not taking the jobs crisis seriously. There is a massive human cost to the unemployment crisis.”

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