Approximately 200 jobs will be leaving the Tipperary town...
Workers at Coty's cosmetics plant in Nenagh, County Tipperary, have been told that the facility will close by the end of 2018.
Company executives informed roughly 200 employees at a noon meeting that production would be moving to another plant in Ashford, Kent.
The US beauty products manufacturer acquired the Tipperary plant as part of its $12.9 billion purchase of Procter & Gamble's specialty beauty products, including brands such as Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Gucci and Max Factor, in October 2016.
Workers had been aware that Coty had been examining whether it should continue its operations in Nenagh, Ashford or both.
Local councillors were told to "expect the worst" during a briefing after Tipperary County Council's monthly meeting on Monday.
Employee Pauline Walsh told The Irish Times:
“It’s coming a long time, we’ve had nine lives now. I’m worried, there’s no question I’m worried. I’m that bit older and it’s going to be harder for me to get a job. I’m not going to go away with any bad feeling, because they have been very good to me over the years, and I’m grateful for that."
Labour's Jobs spokesperson and Tipperary TD Alan Kelly (pictured) called for urgent Government action. He said:
"Today, my thoughts are with the staff and family of those working in Coty. I know many of them very well. I have many friends and neighbours working in the plant. I have been speaking with some of them in recent hours and it is a difficult time for them as they have fought hard for many years to keep this plant open.
"This is a huge blow for the Nenagh area. The €14 million annual wage bill from employees has supported many families, along with local businesses and spinoff contract services and will be a major loss to Nenagh.
"The immediate focus now must be to support the employees who will lose their jobs by the end of 2018; ensuring their redundancy package is honoured in its entirety, and assisting them to reskill in the near future.
"Finding an alternative business to fill the site that has significant utility capacity and high spec finishes must now be a Government priority and we have a timeline up to the end of 2018 to do so. The IDA have been in contact with me over the last 24 hours and they have assured me that they will continue to advocate for Nenagh and Tipperary. We have seen a similar plant closure in Cashel reopen following the loss of Johnson and Johnson. It was subsequently replaced by Amneal so there is hope."
Commenting on the announcement, Nenagh plant manager JuanMiguel Pacheco said:
“I am committed to fully supporting all our colleagues in Nenagh through the coming months. Our priority is to work closely with them and their families throughout the consultation and to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect.”
Coty said in a statement:
“Today we have announced proposed changes to our international manufacturing network, subject to board approval, including our cosmetics operation in Nenagh. These proposals are the result of a detailed study of our global manufacturing capacities and capabilities for each of our divisions following the merger with P&G Specialty Beauty brands and with the objective to enable our future growth.
"As a result of this study we are proposing to consolidate our cosmetics operations into two core centres which will result in the closure of the Nenagh plant. Specific timelines are still under consideration and subject to consultation, but we propose to complete the Nenagh volume transition by the end of calendar year 2018. It is anticipated that, subject to consultation, approximately 200 roles will be affected in Nenagh."
Coty is one of the world’s leading beauty companies with revenues of approximately $9bn per annum.