Fianna Fail TD for Mayo, Lisa Chambers has expressed her concern and disapointment at the loss of six jobs at Northgate in Castlebar.
“In 2015 we had what was termed “a major jobs announcement for Castlebar” by the then government. We were told that 150 jobs were on the way over a three year period, with ten immediate jobs. This never materialised, only six people were ever employed at the company and now even those six jobs are going. It is a huge knock to the reputation of the county town and a devastating blow to those six individuals who are loosing their jobs and their families, particularly in the run up to Christmas.” says Chambers
“I have spoken to some of the people who are loosing their jobs and the tale they have told me is not pleasant. They tell me they were promised the sun, moon and stars when they started. That there would be plenty of work for years and big contracts with St. Vincent’s hospital and the Saolta hospital group had been secured for the digitalization of medical records. Some of the employees gave up other jobs to take this “opportunity” and took a leap of faith based on the promises being made. We now know that neither of those two contracts ever materalised and the work for the company just wasn’t there. Those promises should never have been made if the contracts were still being negotiated but obviously there was pressure being exerted from somewhere to allow this announcement for jobs be made. It is certainly worth noting that the announcement was made in the run up to a general election.” says Chambers
“The employees have told me that senior management are based in the UK and have not visited the Castlebar location since September 2015, over a year ago. Information has been slow to trickle down to the employees but they knew there were major problems back as far as January this year. They have been waiting in limbo and fearing for their jobs all this time. Out of fear they kept quiet in the hope things would improve but only yesterday, Wednesday, they were told the company would shut it’s Castlebar operation on December 2nd. The prospect of redundancy is limited and employees say they are expecting only one month’s pay in advance which won’t provide much comfort in the run up to Christmas.” continues Chambers
“I am calling on the Jobs Minister, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, in conjunction with An Taoisaeach, to intervene and do whatever they can to save these jobs. I would hope to see every assistance being provided to the employees at this very distressing time.” says Chambers