BY HARRY WALSH
Gairméidí Chaomhnaithe Dhún na nGall Teo (SIOEN) is to end its manufacturing operations on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park with the loss of up to 23 jobs.
The announcement follows a decision by management at Sioen Industries Belgium, Gairméidí’s parent company, to transfer the majority of its production to its sister company in Romania.
The company’s activities in sales, distribution, servicing and R&D are to remain in Gaoth Dobhair. Gairiméidí announced that it will enter into a period of consultation with those employees involved in the manufacturing end of the business over the next few weeks.
Údarás na Gaeltachta regrets this decision and the resultant implications that it will have for over half of Gairméidí’s employees. Údarás recognises that Gairméidí is operating in a highly competitive market and has been facing firm competition globally from other Sioen owned factories that are located in low-cost production economies.
Steve Ó Cúláin, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta said, “We are disappointed, despite all efforts by management in Gairméidí and management in Údarás, that Sioen Industries Belgium has decided to relocate all production to Romania. However, we must also recognise the significant contribution that Gairméidí has made to the local economy over the past thirty years. I would especially like to thank Gaetan and his team for doing their utmost to secure as many jobs as possible for Gaoth Dobhair and we will continue to work with the company and support its remaining business activities here.”
Gairméidí currently employs 23 people and Údarás na Gaeltachta has supported and worked closely with Gairiméidí since they were established in 1981. The company manufactures a range of high-end technical protective clothing for a number of markets, and include rainwear, high visibility clothing and flame retardant clothing.
The company has announced that SIPTU will take part in the consultation process and work with the employees to ensure that they get all redundancy entitlements.
Údarás na Gaeltachta said that a number of companies on the Gaoth Business Park are recruiting currently and that it is also handling a number of business enquiries that could lead to the creation of new jobs on the Business Park in the future.