Government must respond to job losses in Athy
Labour representative for South Kildare, Cllr Mark Wall has said the news that Coca Cola is to close its plant in Athy with the loss of 82 jobs is a devastating blow for the town, and that the Government must now urgently respond.
Cllr Wall said:
“The loss of 82 manufacturing jobs is a body blow for Athy. Coca Cola has been operating the site here since taking it over in 2000, and the plant itself has been in operation for 45 years.
“I am calling on the Minister for Enterprise Heather Humphreys to visit the town in the days ahead and meet with local stakeholders. The IDA also needs to up its efforts to attract new investment to Athy.
“It is essential that the Minister set up a taskforce with the aim of attracting new manufacturing activities to Athy.
“The Coca Cola plant was one of the last manufacturing plants that we have in Athy. A lot of the employees have young family and mortgages to pay so for a lot of them there isn’t that option of going to Ballina. 42 of the jobs are expected to be transferred to Co. Mayo.
“The plant provided generational employment in Athy. These are highly skilled employees who have worked at the plant for 20 to 30 years.
“The company have even been hiring recently so that is why it is such a huge shock locally. There needs to be a government response to this. Athy has been over looked for too long. Athy needs employment – we need the IDA to get behind employment in Athy.”