Ireland Faces Fresh Job Fears

A medical devices company will transfer production of one of its products to Thailand, resulting in yet another job scare for Ireland.

Medical devices firm Covidien is to transfer the manufacturing line for one of its products from Athlone in Co Westmeath to Thailand.

It is not yet known how many jobs will be affected by the move.

Talks between unions and management will get underway today to discuss the situation.

Jobs and Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton said: "It's disappointing to hear about any jobs being under threat, but this company is at least looking to the future in Ireland.

"The company's commitment to bring new R&D (research and development) capability to future-proof their business in Ireland is heartening."

The US-owned medical devices firm currently employs more than 600 people at the Athlone site.

A spokesperson for the plant last night confirmed negotiations are underway on voluntary redundancy. It is not yet known how many jobs will be affected.

This is comes just two weeks after fears were growing for 425 jobs at an IT company and a frozen food distribution firm.

Pocket Kings Limited in Cherrywood, Dublin, revealed it could axe 250 staff after an online poker firm withdrew from the US market following an FBI probe.

Meanwhile in Allied Foods in Dublin, it is believed 175 people face redundancy.

Pocket Kings, which employs 700 people, have begun a 30-day consultation period.

While members at Allied Foods in Tallaght were told management would cut the workforce from 250 to 75 after it lost a contract for the distribution of chilled and frozen products for Dunnes Stores.


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