70 JOBS TO GO AT SANMINA SCI IN FERMOY
Following initial speculation that 35 jobs were to go, management at Sanmina SCI in Fermoy have this week issued a statement confirming that approximately 70 jobs will go at the plant. The company issued the following statement on Wednesday morning - ‘We are a leading electrical and manufacturing services provider.
'Today SCI announced the restructuring of its Fermoy plant. Approximately 70 jobs will be impacted through a combination of voluntary and compulsory redundancies.
'Established in 1989, the company has gained a reputation of being a leading EMS (electrical manufacturing supplier) to the medical and other industry sectors over the last 22 years. This recent announcement has become necessary due to a decline in short and medium term demand in the marketplace for certain products manufactured at the Fermoy facility’.
‘Despite this reduction in employment numbers, the company has stated that the long-term outlook for the facility remains positive. While it is very unfortunate that we have to take this action at this time we remain positive about the outlook for the Fermoy operation and about Ireland as a location to do business. The redundancies we have announced today are solely driven by the demand in the marketplace for our customers products’.
Fermoy town mayor, Cllr Pa O’Driscoll stated that if the jobs are gone it’s just another blow for Fermoy.
“The retail heart of the town will find it more and more difficult to be maintained if there are more productive jobs lost. The next government from day one must have a focus on job creation. This issue has been lost in the debate over the banking bailout. If elected TD at the election, I will be promoting the north east Cork region, working extremely hard with local groups to stimulate employment in the area.”
Deputy Sean Sherlock told The Avondhu that it is imperative that this tide of job losses is stemmed: “We also need to ensure that those within the factory on short time will receive their entitlements from the Department of Social Protection. There has to be some consistency in relation to benefits for employees for the weeks they are not working. We need to hear from the IDA as to what is happening with the company. We must put a model in place to ensure long term jobs are sustainable.”
Responding to the bad news, Cllr Noel McCarthy said that he was shocked.
“We did say before Christmas that we had concerns. Hopefully the remaining jobs are safe. We can’t highlight enough the seriousness of this for Fermoy town and surrounding areas. I will be calling on all TDs and election candidates to make it their priority to ensure that SCI can keep the remaining jobs. It’s another devastating blow to the town, “ he told The Avondhu.
Cllr Tadhg O’Donovan added that in the current economic climate, this news could not have come at a worse time.
“It would be beneficial if the company came out and indicated what their plans are for the future. This needs to be put out in the public domain so that something can be done to ensure no further jobs are lost.”
Manager of Fermoy Credit Union, Martina Cotter, told The Avondhu that there would be a concern at the loss of jobs, as there is already pressure on people due to reduced working hours etc.
“We would like to get the message out there that people can come to us, we will do everything in our power to facilitate our members. We can look at restructuring payment and people need to check, as they may have payment protection cover on their loans. It is imperative that people come and talk to us immediately rather than waiting until they are in severe financial difficulty.”
Earlier this week, The Avondhu spoke with some employees of SCI, who wanted to voice their concerns about what was happening ‘behind closed doors’ at the plant, amidst fears of a possible further 35 redundancies to come only to find out that it is much worse than expected.
One employee commented, “There are about 320 people working at the plant which will be reduced 250 after the 70 jobs cuts to come. Management has said that people can volunteer for redundancy, but who wants to do that with the lack of jobs out there. Nobody knows who will lose their job until March 11 when they will be gone on the spot. People are in limbo here and will be for the next four weeks, its just unbearable.”
“Up to now, everybody has been told that they are working for 3 weeks a month and they have to claim the dole for the fourth week. We were told this before Christmas, we have no choice, either use our holidays or claim dole. A lot of people still haven’t been paid their dole money since Christmas. They have received forms back from the dole to fill in every day worked since September. People are just running out of patience.
Another employee told The Avondhu that the factory has been quiet from October/November: “Many workers are being brought in just to sit there and do nothing for 12 hours a day, 3 days a week. It sounds like a dream, getting paid to do nothing but it is very tough. It is very frustrating as we could all be at home spending valuable time with our families but they will not send us home with pay.”
The employee alleged that one area in the plant was told that they will have to take 2 weeks off in March: “Initially they had been told it would be one week, and now its two, an there are no explanations why this is the case. Everyone is just expected to go along with it. It’s ridiculous as many of us have mortgages to pay and families to support.
"Some people have been on the dole for 12 consecutive weeks before and some people have even had to resort to money lenders to get by. 12 weeks is the equivalent to a 25% pay cut over the year. All we want is to be treated with a bit of respect and dealt with as human beings.”
“The threat of redundancy constantly looms over us, some people want it and others don’t, rumours are always rife as in any environment with large groups of people. People are afraid to speak up because of the fear of losing their jobs and the state of the current work climate of this country. The staff need to be made aware of what is really going on here. We deserve better.”
Friday 11th February 8:59am