Union members at the Bose factory in Carrickmacross, due to be closed at the end of May with the loss of 140 jobs, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of redundancy proposals negotiated by their representatives. SIPTU Industrial Organiser Jim Mc Veigh welcomed the result of the ballot.
He said: “We negotiated what we considered to be a fair and reasonable redundancy package. We recommended the proposals to our members and they have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the package. SIPTU will be continuing discussions with the company, the government and the IDA, to try to ensure that alternative investment might be found for the Bose site”.
It was announced without warning a month ago that the plant was to be shut down. The original closure date was April but following talks with union representatives and local politicians an extension of several weeks was given.
The situation was discussed by councillors at this week’s meeting of the Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Municipal District. Councillor Padraig McNally who is also Cathaoirleach of Monaghan County Council said the atmosphere at the plant was not great and the relationship with the US headquarters was strained. The last thing they wanted was for the plant to be closed and for the people involved not to know where their future lay, he said.
Councillor Colm Carthy a former Bose employee said the closure extension was not a great outcome, but it gave the employees a little bit of extra time to come to terms with the situation. He said the MEP Matt Carthy had been in touch with the Chief Executive of the IDA in Dublin asking him to give top priority to replacing the facility in Carrick as they needed to get more investment in the town.
Councillor Noel Keelan said he had been in continuing contact with the employees and was anxious that they should get their entitlements. They now needed to bring into the town some form of alternative employment.
The Cathaoirleach Jackie Crowe agreed that they needed to get someone in as quickly as possible to create the same number of jobs.
Councillor PJ O’Hanlon said it was his firm belief that when the IDA brought a factory into a town, the premises should never go into private ownership. With the site at Bose there was now going to be a commercial landlord looking for rent from a future tenant. This almost amounted to a “sharp practice” by the IDA, in his view, whereas the IDA, he felt, should be looking after such factory premises for any company that occupied it. He proposed a motion, seconded by Cllr McNally, “that this District Council calls on the Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton, and the IDA, and Enterprise Ireland, that any new factories that are opened are not sold to private or commercial groups but are kept in ownership of the state agencies”. The motion was adopted unanimously and it was agreed to circulate it to all county councils in the state.