Staff informed of decision at special meeting this afternoon
Workers at the Cameron manufacturing plant in County Longford have been informed that operations will cease “by Christmas” with the loss of 170 jobs.
A company statement cited a severe downturn in the oil and gas industry as the reason for the closure.
The statement said the downturn has had a dramatic impact on “Surface equipment and Subsea order intake, leaving many of our plants underutilised."
“It is with great regret that we advised our employees today that potentially manufacturing, assembly and test activities in Longford would cease during 2017,” said the statement.
"We understand the impact of this announcement on our employees and the local community.
The company plans to maintain a presence in Longford and will continue to operate in research and development capacity.
"It is anticipated that we will continue to employ approximately 50 of our current employees. This again is subject to consultation," said the statement.
The company will be holding consultations with unions and employee representatives over the coming months to “make every effort to try and mitigate as much as possible the impact on our employees.”
Fine Gael TD for Longford Westmeath Peter Burke said the closure represents a “very significant blow for Longford.”
“Firstly, I want to sympathise with all of the employees who have received this news, together with their families," he said.
These employees have played a key role in the company’s success over recent years and today’s news is very distressing for them.” he said.
"I will be doing everything in my power to support Cameron employees in the weeks ahead and ensure that the Government prioritises job growth in the midlands.
"The Regional Action Plan for Jobs sets out key actions to be carried out and I will be working hard to ensure Longford receives the Government investment that it needs in the time ahead."
Labour TD for Longford- Westmeath, Willie Penrose, has also expressed solidarity with workers.
Deputy Penrose said the company must use every means at its disposal to try and minimise any potential job losses at the factory.
“This is a major blow to workers and their families, many of who have done long service to be company, and a blow to the Longford region in general,” he said.
“Every effort must be made to ensure that any job losses are minimised, and that those whose jobs are under threat are given the help they need to find new employment as soon as possible.”
Following on from this afternoon’s meeting, a number of Cameron employees gave their reactions to Shannonside FM: