Up to 32 jobs are under threat in Birr, the Offaly Independent has learned.
Global group of companies EJ has today (Monday) informed employees at its Birr facility of proposals to downsize local operations, which may result in the closure of the iron foundry and the potential loss of 32 jobs.
The foundry - known as Cavanagh Foundry until a rebrand last year - manufactures a broad range of manhole covers and drainage grates for the construction industry.
It’s thought a distribution centre and a sales and marketing team will continue to work from Birr, while steel fabrication activities at the facility will also continue. A workforce of approximately 18 will continue to be employed at the site.
“EJ has been reviewing its manufacturing activity and capacity in response to the changing marketplace,” EJ president Fred Malpass said in a statement today.
“We have seen a fundamental contraction in the construction sector in recent years and the Irish market for iron castings has declined. A review of our Irish business shows that we can no longer sustain our current structure at Birr. We are fully committed to safeguarding the future of our Irish business and we deeply regret any job losses that may result from the proposals announced today.”
A strategic business review by EJ has concluded that manufacturing of iron castings should be consolidated to its European headquarters in France, which the company says offer economies of scale and greater operating efficiency and allows the company to be more competitive.
“We greatly appreciate the exemplary service of our employees at Birr and the proposed closure is no reflection on their performance,” Mr Malpass said.
“We will now engage in a process of consultation on these proposals. Should the proposals proceed, as a management team we are committed to assisting impacted employees by providing appropriate outplacement support as well as advice on issues such as financial planning.”