December Employment Roundup: Almost 80 jobs lost as Dublin casino closes | Inside Ireland December Employment Roundup: Mixed news on jobs front

Wednesday 18th December 2019

December's Employment Roundup continues with news that almost 80 jobs have gone with the closure of a Dublin casino on 16 December.

Fitzwilliam Card Club on Fitzwilliam Street Lower in Dublin 2 has closed with immediate effect with the loss of 78 jobs.

The private members' casino blamed the new Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act for its decision.

The casino closed on 16 December with 52 full-time jobs going.

It was reported on 09 December that pet food manufacturer Rondo Food is to close its plant in Co Wicklow, with the loss of over 100 jobs.

Gaines (Europe) Limited had manufactured pet food in Ireland since 1995, with 100% of production exported to North America, Europe and Australia.

In November 2011 the Gaines operation in Arklow was acquired by Rondo Food GmbH.

Reports last month indicated the move to close its Arklow facility was likely.

The firm said it would relocate operations to its main manufacturing facility in Krefeld in northwest Germany.

Trade Union Unite, which represents workers in Virgin Media along with Siptu announced that union members have voted 'overwhelmingly' to take industrial action.

The move follows attempts by the company to impose compulsory redundancies. In addition, the company is proposing redundancy terms which are inferior to those previously collectively agreed.

40 Redundancies

The company confirmed that the redundancy programme 'has now concluded' and has resulted in 40 redundancies.

Union said the strike committee will meet next week 'to decide the nature and timing of the industrial action to be taken'.

Unite Regional Officer Brendan Byrne said:

"Management have unilaterally decided which workers are, and which workers are not, covered by collective bargaining. This is unacceptable to unions and our members. Resolution of this dispute is in the company's hands, and unions remain available to talk".

SIPTU Organiser Martin Mannion, said:

"This dispute concerns an attempt to impose compulsory redundancies and the failure by the company to implement a Labour Court recommendation concerning pay as well numerous breaches of a collective agreement which was agreed in 2008. Our members are extremely disappointed that management has failed to engage with their union representatives to resolve this dispute."

SIPTU and Unite represent more than 350 members across all grades of staff in Virgin Media Ireland locations across the country.

'Unwarranted'

The Union says the dispute 'involves call centre, technical, administration and sales staff'.

In a statement Virgin media 'noted' the union statement.

We believe this threat by the unions is totally unwarranted, particularly when none of the recently-announced redundancies occurred within the collective bargaining group.

"The redundancy programme has now concluded and has resulted in 40 redundancies, which was significantly lower number than the original estimate of 65."

A technology solutions company has opened its European headquarters in Cork, with up to 50 jobs planned.

Formerly called HengTian, Horizon8 was created in 2004 as a strategic partnership between Boston based State Street, and Hangzhou based Insigma Technology and Zhejiang University.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said:

"This announcement is great news for Cork and indeed Ireland. With up to 50 jobs planned, Horizon8 is placing a significant vote of confidence in the Irish Market and further demonstrates our competitive position in attracting Foreign Direct Investment. All of these roles will be for high-skilled workers, including engineers, developers and business consultants."

A Co Clare based precision engineering firm, has trebled the size of its new production facility and said it will create up to 60 new jobs over the next two years.

Based in Smithstown Industrial Estate in Shannon, Smithstown Light Engineering is a second generation Irish firm employing 128 people.

Having reached capacity at its original plant, the firm opened a second manufacturing site in August 2017 and hired 30 new employees to meet increased production levels.

However, the company said the new site also reached capacity by the end of 2018.

The Enterprise Ireland supported company invested over €6m in the last 12 months in new machining technologies along with the 30,000 sq ft manufacturing floor extension.

The company said the new facility will create 60 new jobs over a two to three year period, creating roles for engineering machinists, programmers and quality control specialists.

Pat Breen TD, Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection said:

"This expansion and the announcement today of 60 new high quality jobs is very welcome news for the Shannon area and is an endorsement of Ireland's growing reputation as a global leader in Life Sciences and medical devices."

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