150 temporary staff at the Abbott Vascular plant in Clonmel will be laid off at the end of November, the company has confirmed, amid speculation that more redundancies among the permanent staff at one of the county’s biggest employers could follow next year.
The company is one of the world’s leading vascular care businesses and manufactures a broad range of vascular devices, including stent delivery systems, in Clonmel, where it employs approximately 1,500 people from around the county.
In a statement this week Abbott confirmed that “we have approximately 150 temporary employees at our vascular manufacturing facility in Clonmel, whose contracts are due to expire at the end of November 2012.
“As part of our standard business practices we continually assess our resources to ensure they are aligned with the needs of our businesses.
We will not comment on rumour or speculation about our future business needs”, the statement added.
Abbott acquired the Guidant vascular business in April 2006. In September of that year the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin officially opened Abbott’s new 180,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Clonmel and unveiled plans for an additional 70,000 square foot facility to accommodate future growth in the town.
In May 2008 Abbott officially opened its new 70,000-square-foot administration, warehouse and logistics facility. The new building was engineered to incorporate a range of green features designed to minimise impact on the environment.
Independent Deputy Seamus Healy has described the 150 job losses announced this week as “a severe blow to the workers involved, their families and the South Tipperary area”.
He stated that unconfirmed reports of “further job losses early in the New Year, if true, would be very worrying indeed”.
Deputy Healy, who pledged to raise the matter in the Dail this week, described Abbott as a flagship company for the county and the region, employing 1,500 highly-skilled and committed staff. He said it was a huge driver for the local and regional economy.
He said he knew that the local management and staff were committed to the future of the plant in Clonmel.
As well as raising the matter with Minister Bruton he would also contact the relevant state agencies to ensure that the necessary support and resources would be deployed to maintain the existing levels of employment and to ensure that there were no further job losses down the road.
Meanwhile Fine Gael’s Deputy Tom Hayes, having spoken to Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Richard Bruton, has confirmed that there are approximately 150 employees on rolling contracts in Abbott Clonmel and that these contracts are currently due to expire at the end of next month.
“Given the nature of manufacturing it is often unclear until shortly before the end of these contracts whether or not they need to be renewed. It is my understanding that to date most of these contracts have been renewed on several occasions in the past.
Once a decision is made on these contracts of course the employees will be the first to know. I have made my views on the matter perfectly clear to both the company and the Minister that I wish to see these jobs remain in Clonmel for as long as possible”, he stated.
Deputy Hayes said that the 1,500 employees in Abbott Clonmel did a fantastic job and their professionalism and productivity were the reasons why the Clonmel facility was Abbott’s largest and most successful factory in Ireland.
“The company continues to invest in their Clonmel facility and have demonstrated countless times in the past that they remain committed to Clonmel and the wider South Tipperary region.
The employees can be assured of my continued support on this matter”, he added.