END OF THE LINE FOR BOSE

Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

NO SOUND AT BOSE AS PLANT FINALLY SHUTS DOWN 

Michael Fisher  Northern Standard  Thursday June 4th Carrickmacross News p.35

They came in small groups to collect their redundancy payments. Over the course of several hours last Friday, 140 workers left the Bose plant in Carrickmacross, having clocked out on Thursday for the last time. The car park gates are locked and over the next week, preparations will be made by a Dublin company to auction the plant and machinery inside the building. Viewing begins next Thursday and the public auction will be on Friday 12th June, the final chapter in a 37-year history of production at the site.

Gates Locked at Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Gates Locked at Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

As they left the plant, the workers again pointed out that this had been a profitable operation for Bose, manufacturing high quality sound systems, and their Irish base in Europe had never been affected by industrial disputes. They said they had always shown their loyalty to the company and had generally been treated well by their employer, until the founder of the company Dr Amar Bose had died two years ago.

Empty Car Park at Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Empty Car Park at Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys T.D. said she had been in contact with Jobs Minister Richard Bruton on a regular basis, most recently this week regarding the search for an alternative investor for the Bose facility. She said she had been informed that the Industrial Development Authority (responsible for attracting foreign direct investment to Ireland) was continuing to seek an alternative use for the Bose building and was highlighting the strengths of the border region as a location for inward investment.

Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

Minister Humphreys told the Northern Standard: “As the existing factory is not owned by Bose, the IDA is in discussions with the relevant parties on how the facility could be made available for a new investor. In response to the Bose announcement Minister Bruton established an interagency group to co-ordinate the response from the state in terms of awareness of entitlements and opportunities for the affected staff of the company and to pursue a replacement investor. This group is chaired by Enterprise Ireland and includes representatives from IDA Ireland, the Local Enterprise Office, the Education and Training Boards from Cavan/Monaghan and Louth/Meath, and the Department of Social Protection. I have been assured that the Department of Social Protection has been very active in terms of meeting the staff in relation to that Department’s services, and the Educational Training Board are pursuing relevant courses and training.”

Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

Minister Humphreys said the Bose announcement in January had been a huge blow to the area, and a terrible shock for staff. Her focus now was on helping to secure an alternative investor for the facility if possible. This process could take some time, but she remained hopeful that Carrickmacross could attract another employer into the town. She added: “As well as continuing to seek a new investor for the facility, it is important that all possible training and up-skilling opportunities are made available to the Bose workers. Job opportunities in Cavan and Monaghan have improved considerably in the last year or so; the number of people on the Live Register across the two counties has dropped by an average of 25% and in total 14,300 additional people are back at work in the border area since the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs in 2012. I will continue to work with Minister Bruton to seek alternative employment options for all workers affected by the Bose closure.”

Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

As the BOSE plant closed its doors for the last time on Friday, Carrickmacross-based Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy said the closure of the plant was devastating for the local economy and community who had been let down by the government. The MEP said:

“Today is a sad day for the staff, their families and the wider community of Carrickmacross as we witness the closure of long- standing employer BOSE and the loss of 140 full time jobs in the area. I wish to extend my solidarity, and that of my party colleagues, to the workers and their families on what I am sure must be a difficult day for them personally.”

Empty Car Park at Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Empty Car Park at Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

“I believe that the closure today is indicative of the lack of an effective regional jobs plan by this government.  Since the closure announcement in January I have been in correspondence with Minister Richard Bruton and with the IDA. I held a meeting with IDA Chief Executive Martin Shanahan in his office where I urged that all possible opportunities to identify an alternative employer for the BOSE site to explored. I regret to say that I do not believe that the government or its agencies have done enough to ensure that either the plant remained open or that alternative employment could be secured for the premises.”

Matt Carthy said people in Carrickmacross and South Monaghan felt very let down by the government agencies who had not delivered for the area and he was hugely disappointed on their behalf. He concluded:

“We must redouble our efforts to minimise the impact of this closure on our community and local economy and I am calling on local government representatives to put pressure on their colleagues to ensure that Carrickmacross is not left behind. I have again written to Minister Richard Bruton requesting real action on this front and I will continue to work with my party colleagues, including Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, on this matter.”

Gates Locked at Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Gates Locked at Former Bose Plant, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

Monaghan County Councillor Colm Carthy is a former Bose employee. The Sinn Féin representative said the closure of the Bose plant was the end of an era. Not only was it a huge blow for the town, it was a huge blow to the whole of South Monaghan and beyond. Councillor Carthy told the Northern Standard:

“The staff of this facility are a family and they are devastated to have lost their jobs. We need to push now for a replacement company to come in to the facility as soon as possible. We have already seen the lack of respect local councillors have been shown by central government in their dealings with all the relevant bodies who are working on getting replacement jobs into the area. This cannot be allowed to continue. We, as a council, will continue to push the government to do all in their power, not only to utilise the facility that is already in place but, more importantly, to utilise the talented workforce that has been left behind.”

CLOCKING OUT AT BOSE

How I reported the closure of the Bose factory in January in The Northern Standard Photo: © Michael Fisher

How I reported the closure of the Bose factory in January in The Northern Standard Photo: © Michael Fisher

Clocking Out at Bose    Michael Fisher Northern Standard Thursday 28th May p.1
Workers at the Bose factory in Carrickmacross are clocking out for the last time today (Thursday), bringing to an end a proud history of 37 years of manufacturing high quality sound systems. The multinational company unexpectedly announced in January they would be closing the plant in April, with a loss of 140 jobs. Following representations to the management at their headquarters in the USA, the timeline was extended until the end of May.

Bose Factory Carrickmacross  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Bose Factory Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

Despite attempts by the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to find a suitable replacement, no new investor has so far been found. The plant and machinery at the factory are due to be auctioned in a fortnight’s time and the building will be left as an empty shell. The site is in private ownership, having been purchased by a consortium of business people fourteen years ago. See story p.7.

Bose Factory Carrickmacross  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Bose Factory Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

BOSE FACTORY TALKS

Bose factory, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Bose factory, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

Union representatives and local politicians have welcomed the decision by the US-based management of Bose to extend the operation of the Carrickmacross plant until June. SIPTU Industrial Organiser Jim McVeigh met the Human Relations Director Barry Weaver in Carrick a week ago and is due to hold more discussions with him tomorrow (Thursday). It was agreed that the closure announced on January 22nd would be postponed beyond April, while talks continued on acceptable redundancy terms and other issues. Mr Weaver also met the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. in Dublin along with Pat McAdam of Bose Carrickmacross.

Sean Conlan T.D. Photo: © Michael Fisher

Sean Conlan T.D. Photo: © Michael Fisher

Fine Gael T.D. Sean Conlan said since the closure announcement was made he had lobbied both Mr Bruton and the IDA to ensure everything within their power would be done to save the 140 jobs. Following this representation Mr Bruton  agreed to meet a delegation of Bose workers, the IDA and a SIPTU representative in Carrickmacross last Friday. A very constructive meeting took place with all involved and they discussed the future prospects of the Bose workers along with the need to ensure that
redundancy packages acceptable to the workers are put in place.

Deputy Conlan said the Bose plant was a state of the art plant and very well placed geographically given its close proximity to Dublin airport and the port. He said it was of the utmost importance the Industrial Development Authority used every resource available to market this plant globally in the best possible way in an effort to attract a new employer, and he was hopeful one would be found.  The IDA who were represented by Emmanuel Dowdall confirmed that their eighteen overseas offices were looking for an alternative employer.

SIPTU Industrial Organiser Jim McVeigh   Photo: © Michael Fisher

SIPTU Industrial Organiser Jim McVeigh Photo: © Michael Fisher

Jim McVeigh of SIPTU said the focus was on asking the IDA to try to attract other investors and to ensure alternative employment for the Bose workforce. Mr Mc Veigh added: “We welcome the agreement by the company to delay the proposed closure while other opportunities are examined by all of those concerned including the Minister and the agencies responsible for finding alternative employment. The closure of this plant, in Carrickmacross since 1978, is devastating for our members, a dedicated and skilled workforce, and for the town and surrounding areas in county Monaghan”.