Fulflex announces closure of Limerick plant
The closure of the Fulflex plant in Galvone with the loss of 108 jobs was announced this week in Limerick.
Although the American rubber company will retain 16 sales and adminrative positions, global competition and a poor trading environment have forced Fulflex to cease production from May 2006.
Fulflex have had a presence in Limerick since 1969 and Labour's Deputy Jan O'Sullivan described this week's developments as "a cruel blow to loyal workers".
"Despite the difficulties the company has undergone in recent years," she said, "the workers have been absolutely loyal and committed to Fulflex International and I sympathise greatly with them, particularly those who have given long service and will now find it difficult to gain alternative employment."
"The loss of jobs in the Mid-West in recent years because of· companies transferring to low cost parts of the world is very worrying and our Government ministers must stand up and be counted and ensure that the IDA actively recruits foreign investment for Limerick." Deputy Michael Noonan was more strident in his criticism of the Government's and the IDA's track record in bringing manufacturing jobs to Limerick, which he described as "appaling."
He said that not a single job was approved for grant assistance by. the agency last year and only 25 in 2004.
"The IDA claim that the pipeline of inward investment especially from the United States was never better," Deputy Noonan said.
"This seems to be confirmed by the frequent job announcements for Cork, Dublin and Galway but unfortunately the needs of Limerick, Clare and Tipperary are ignored," he said.
In the past, many major industries were set up in the Mid·West but "we are now more accustomed to announcements of redundancies than to job creation," said Deputy Noonan.
Meanwhile, David Burke, CEO of Fulflex Worldwide, said the decision made in the US late last week "was a very difficult one for the board to make".
"Indeed, it was all the more difficult because of the great contribution employees in Limerick have made over more than thirty years. However, we have all been aware for some time of the company's financial difficulties due to the intense global pressure," he said.
The company said it will organise discussions with employees and employee representatives on severance package details.