Brexit trade barriers or naked corporate greed are to blame for job losses in Co. Antrim amid a sinking job market and during a global pandemic fears Unite.
Expanded polystyrene manufacturer Springvale EPS Ltd, a subsection of the hugely successful Kingspan group, announced the closure of its plant outside of Ballyclare in Co. Antrim as they transfer investment to Republic of Ireland.
Unite had driven ongoing consultation in attempted to save jobs at the profitable site. Regional Officer, Kevin McAdam challenged the company and the wider group on their decision, which will throw almost two dozen workers into unemployment in the middle of a pandemic.
“Consultations between Unite and management have reached the end without any movement from the company,” said McAdam.
We have tried to persuade the company to continue with the County Antrim plant but it appears they are keener to concentrate their business in their plant in Askeaton in County Limerick,” he added.
The decision to close comes at the same time that parent company Kingspan announced the purchase of a leading insulation company in Denmark for Euro 253 million last week.
“Clearly the decision to close the Ballyclare site is driven by the desire to maximise profits over the livelihoods of workers who have helped build the company’s success,” Sad McAdam.
“Our members are left baffled by the fact their site is still making money for the group yet they are intent on closing it,” he added.
“Is it a case of naked corporate greed and that bosses feel they can make more elsewhere and to ‘hell with the workers’ or is this the latest example of economic fallout from damaging the new trade barriers post-Brexit,” said MacAdam.
“In either case, workers who have given a lifetime to build up the success of this site are being pushed onto dole queues in the middle of a global pandemic,” he added.
Compiled by Jody Whitehill