Fears over for­mer Heinz plant’s fu­ture

SE­RI­OUS CON­CERNS ABOUT PLANT BUT TAFC REFUSE TO CON­FIRM CLO­SURE

The Argus - - NEWS - By OLIVIA RYAN

THERE are se­ri­ous con­cerns about the fu­ture of The Au­then­tic Food Com­pany (TAFC), for­merly known as the Heinz fac­tory.

Fears have been mount­ing over re­cent weeks around the Finnabair plant, with a num­ber of lo­cal TD’s rais­ing the con­cerns of staff.

Tanaiste Si­mon Coveney also ac­knowl­edged the con­cerns in the Dail last week.

Deputy Pe­ter Fitz­patrick raised the is­sue, say­ing; ‘As the sit­u­a­tion stands, there is no pro­duc­tion planned past 26 Oc­to­ber. The par­ent com­pany in Manch­ester re­fuses to con­firm clo­sure. The com­pany has stated that the en­vi­ron­ment is ‘chal­leng­ing’ but there is no com­mu­ni­ca­tion what­so­ever with the em­ploy­ees.’

He added: ‘ There are over 180 em­ploy­ees there and those fam­i­lies are pan­ick­ing at the mo­ment. Dun­dalk has had plenty of jobs in the last years. How­ever, it is even bet­ter to save jobs. I urge the Tá­naiste to help us please.’

Tanaiste Si­mon Coveney re­sponded: It is clearly an im­por­tant one for Dun­dalk. I am sure the Gov­ern­ment and State agen­cies will do ev­ery­thing they pos­si­bly can to work with the com­pany. If there are dif­fi­cul­ties that we can help with, I am sure we will be very proac­tive on that. I as­sure the Deputy that I will raise the is­sue per­son­ally with the Min­is­ter, Deputy Humphreys.’

Mean­while, Louth TD De­clan Breath­nach stated that ‘ru­mours about the im­mi­nent clo­sure of The Au­then­tic Food Com­pany need to be ei­ther con­firmed by the par­ent com­pany in Manch­ester or put to bed and re­futed. It is not fair to staff at the plant and their fam­i­lies, to be hear­ing ru­mours re­gard­ing the im­mi­nent clo­sure of the fac­tory, and that pro­duc­tion is to cease af­ter Oc­to­ber 28th.’

Sinn Fein Coun­cil­lors, Ruairi OMurchu and Anne Camp­bell also raised ‘se­ri­ous con­cerns’ af­ter meet­ing with staff, and stated they had writ­ten to the com­pany seek­ing as­sur­ances.

The Ar­gus has con­tacted the com­pany for com­ment on the is­sues raised, but re­ceived no re­sponse.

There are fears for 180 jobs at the Dun­dalk plant.

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