Howlin and Cham­ber seek a meet­ing with the board

Gorey Guardian - - NEWS -

LAST WEEK’S STORY IN THIS NEWS­PA­PER RE­VEAL­ING MCCAULEYS’ PRO­POSED RE­LO­CA­TION OF THEIR HQ TO DUBLIN BE­CAUSE OF RE­CRUIT­MENT DIF­FI­CUL­TIES IN WEX­FORD SHOCKED THE BUSI­NESS COM­MU­NITY AND LO­CAL POLITI­CIANS. THERE IS WIDE­SPREAD CON­CERN AT THE PO­TEN­TIAL LOSS OF LO­CAL JOBS AND THAT THE REA­SON GIVEN FOR THE MOVE COULD DIS­COUR­AGE OTHER COM­PA­NIES LOOK­ING TO THE MODEL COUNTY. BREN­DAN KEANE RE­PORTS

THE Pres­i­dent of Wex­ford Cham­ber of Com­merce, Niall Reck, and the Labour Party Leader, Deputy Bren­dan Howlin

TD, have writ­ten to the Board of Sam McCauley Chemist Ltd ask­ing for meet­ings to dis­cuss the pro­posed re­lo­cat­ing of the com­pany’s head of­fice to a new site out­side of Co Wex­ford - be­lieved to be in Dublin.

Mr Reck wrote his let­ter in re­spect of his own po­si­tion and also on be­half of the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Wex­ford County Coun­cil, Tom En­right.

In his cor­re­spon­dence he high­lighted that the Sam McCauley brand has been syn­ony­mous with Wex­ford for 65 years and he also pointed out that the loy­alty of the com­pany’s staff has been in­stru­men­tal to the on­go­ing growth of the com­pany.

‘As a re­sult we feel very strongly that the head of­fice of Sam McCauley Chemists Ltd should re­main in Wex­ford,’ said Mr Reck in the let­ter.

He also said the cham­ber and the lo­cal author­ity are com­mit­ted to do­ing ev­ery­thing they can to as­sist the com­pany in over­com­ing ob­sta­cles that ‘trig­gered the de­ci­sion’ to re­lo­cate.

Mr Reck asked for a meet­ing with the Board of Direc­tors of the busi­ness so an out­line could be given as to how the cham­ber and the County Coun­cil could as­sist the busi­ness to en­sure it re­mains in Wex­ford.

Speak­ing to this news­pa­per Mr Reck ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment and con­cern at the pos­si­bil­ity that jobs could be lost in the county.

‘We want to meet the Board and hear what their rea­sons are for re­lo­cat­ing,’ he said.

‘We want an op­por­tu­nity to present them with ideas we have and work with them in en­sur­ing the com­pany’s head­quar­ters re­mains where it al­ways has been and that’s in Co Wex­ford,’ he added.

He ex­pressed crit­i­cism of any no­tion that there aren’t skilled peo­ple in the county and said that’s some­thing the cham­ber and the lo­cal author­ity are will­ing to work with the com­pany on.

That com­ment was in ref­er­ence to the rea­sons given for the move by the CEO of Sam McCauley Chemists Ltd in Wex­ford, Tony McEn­tee, who told this news­pa­per the plan to re­lo­cate was at­trib­ut­able to a lack of po­ten­tial em­ploy­ees in Wex­ford: ‘We need to find a team of on­line mar­keters and we are strug­gling to re­cruit peo­ple lo­cally. As a busi­ness we need to grow and we need tal­ent to grow.’

Mr Reck dis­agreed with any sug­ges­tion there are not skilled peo­ple in Co Wex­ford. ‘The skill set is there,’ he said. ‘There are many skilled peo­ple in the town and we know that re­cruit­ment com­pa­nies [here] weren’t ap­proached,’ he added.

If the re­quest for a meet­ing is ac­cepted Mr Reck said a num­ber of key things will be pre­sented by the cham­ber and lo­cal author­ity.

‘It doesn’t make fi­nan­cial sense to move to Dublin and it cer­tainly would make far more sense to re­main here,’ he said.

‘Another key is­sue is that we should be able to find the peo­ple they re­quire here in Wex­ford,’ he added.

Com­ment­ing there is a very strong, var­ied and skilled work­force in the Model County Mr Reck sug­gested the com­pany might think it searched lo­cally but added: ‘That cer­tainly ap­pears not to ac­tu­ally be the case and that’s some­thing we could high­light to them.’

‘It’s a Wex­ford brand and we do not want to lose it and we cer­tainly don’t want to lose jobs in the county,’ he said.

He sug­gested one op­tion that could be con­sid­ered is for the com­pany to re­lo­cate its head­quar­ters from where it is but still re­main in­side the county boundary.

‘Even if it re­lo­cated its base to Gorey and pos­si­bly to the Hatch Lab it would mean it’s only a spin down the road from Dublin and at least the em­ploy­ees al­ready work­ing there would be re­main­ing in Wex­ford,’ he said.

‘That’s an op­tion that we feel should def­i­nitely be looked at.’

Labour Party Leader, Bren­dan Howlin TD, has also writ­ten to the com­pany about the mat­ter and re­quested a meet­ing with se­nior man­age­ment.

He told this news­pa­per that he was very dis­ap­pointed and shocked to read in last week’s Wex­ford Peo­ple news­pa­per that the com­pany is likely to re­lo­cate in the New Year.

How­ever, he also said he was con­cerned at the mes­sage and im­age be­ing por­trayed that Co Wex­ford doesn’t have skilled work­ers within the sales and mar­ket­ing area.

‘That is a big con­cern of mine and is cer­tainly at odds with the mes­sage we want to give out about Wex­ford when we are try­ing to en­cour­age busi­nesses to set up here,’ he said.

He com­mented that when the Sam McCauley merger took place last year com­mit­ments were made that the busi­ness would grow fur­ther from its Wex­ford hub.

‘This de­ci­sion is un­ex­pected and deeply dis­turb­ing,’ said Deputy Howlin.

‘I want to find out ex­actly what ef­forts were made to get their work­force lo­cally,’ he added.

He said many other busi­nesses have been very suc­cess­ful in re­cruit­ing ex­pert peo­ple lo­cally in Wex­ford and he agreed that the Wex­ford Cam­pus of Car­low IT runs cour­ses spe­cific to sales and mar­ket­ing.

‘The whole idea of a Tech­no­log­i­cal Univer­sity of the South East is that it would link in with the skill sets needed in the re­gion so I be­lieve there would be no dif­fi­culty in get­ting the re­quired peo­ple,’ he said.

Deputy Howlin re­jected any no­tion that the county doesn’t have skilled peo­ple: ‘The idea that there isn’t a skilled work­force here is not ac­cept­able to me.’

He also has grave con­cerns about the pos­si­ble reper­cus­sions on the county as a re­sult of the rea­son put for­ward by the Board of Sam McCauley’s as to why re­lo­ca­tion is nec­es­sary.

‘I know from years of talk­ing to busi­nesses that the most im­por­tant thing most com­pa­nies rely on when con­sid­er­ing lo­cat­ing to a par­tic­u­lar county or area is the ev­i­dence pre­sented by com­pa­nies that are al­ready there,’ he said.

‘They con­sider the ev­i­dence and tes­ti­mony from com­pa­nies al­ready in the area [they’re look­ing at],’ he added.

‘That is why we have the Wex­ford Am­bas­sador pro­gramme to reach out to com­pa­nies and high­light why they should lo­cate here.’

Deputy Howlin also com­mented on the con­gested na­ture of liv­ing in Dublin: ‘If one was to com­mute from the south side of Dublin to West Dublin, or go the other way and travel to Wex­ford one would get here quicker.’

‘They didn’t meet with me or make con­tact to say they were hav­ing is­sues and if they had done I would have worked with all my might to en­sure their is­sues were ad­dressed, as would any elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive, to

“The most im­por­tant thing most com­pa­nies rely on when con­sid­er­ing lo­cat­ing to a par­tic­u­lar county or area is the ev­i­dence pre­sented by com­pa­nies that are al­ready there” – Bren­dan Howlin TD

ensu comp stays Wexfo said. Me of the also ex con­cer crit­i­cis the d and ma feel­ings on­the Peo­ple f page i wake of t ap­pear­ing week’s fron One per­son, hav­ing com­ment there is a lot of tal­ent in Wex­ford ‘Ev­ery­thing is more ex­pen­sive up [in Dublin] it would make bett sense to do a bet­ter job at re­cruit­ing lo­cally.’

Another per­son posted:

‘It will cost them 10 times more to op­er­ate out of Dublin. They should stay in Wex­ford.’

The

Niall Reck, Wex­ford Cham­ber. Deputy Bren­dan Howlin.

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