An Irish poultry plant that was rescued from closure less than three years ago is now facing a restructuring, with at least 50 job cuts.
The Cappoquin processing plant in County Waterford, which has been in business for over 50 years, was bought out of liquidation in 2008 by Derby Poultry, which re-employed more than half the original 200-plus workers and switched production to halal chicken.
Rising feed costs are being blamed for the current difficulties and it is not yet known what the impact will be on the local breeders and growers who supply the plant.
Unions have opened talks with management on “fair and reasonable” redundancy terms for those who have to go while, at the same time, attempting to minimise the job losses.
With Irish unemployment at a record 13% and a general election campaign under way, there have been calls for a state aid package for the plant, with the unions claiming “it is the only way these jobs can be saved”.
But with the Irish exchequer strapped for cash and many other companies in similar difficulties, there is no prospect of such assistance.