Any speculation about security of jobs, particularly within a company as crucial as Abbott Vascular is to the economy of South Tipperary, generates concern in the community.
Abbott Vascular is the biggest employer in South Tipperary and one of the biggest in the South East and there are now fears that a large number of people on rolling contracts at the plant are in danger of not having their contracts renewed.
This is a worrying time for employees, their families and the towns and villages throughout South Tipperary where they live and spend their weekly wage supporting business in the community.
There are fears that the 150 temporary employees at the Clonmel plant whose contracts are due to expire in November may not have those contracts renewed and that a further 300 whose contracts expire next March could be in a similar position.
These are workers who have had their contracts renewed a number of times during their service with the company and they now face an uncertain future.
Abbott Vascular are wonderful employers and their investment in their manufacturing facility in Clonmel over the years has given the local economy a massive boost.
It is incumbent on the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton that he immediately communicates with Abbott Vascular to access the situation and to provide whatever support the government can to ensure these jobs remain in Clonmel and that Abbott Vascular remain committed to Clonmel and South Tipperary.
The concern raised about the Abbott jobs should give even greater weight to the request from South Tipperary County Council to the IDA to attend a meeting to discuss the jobs crisis in the area.
Twice the IDA have ignored the request and at the October meeting of the council an exasperated Cllr. Bobby Fitzgerald insisted that a third request go out to the IDA.
The South East is an unemployment black spot with unemployment rates now running at 4% higher than the national average of 14.8%.
Anything that will make those figures worse needs to be avoided at all costs and no organisation should be allowed hide from their responsibilities and pressure has to be maintained on Minister Bruton to do all in his power to try and keep the Abbott jobs in Clonmel, in South Tipperary and in this country.