The Jacob's biscuit factory in Tallaght, Dublin is to close with the loss of more than 200 jobs.
Jacob’s have been manufacturing biscuits in Dublin for over 100 years and in the 1970s operations moved from the city centre to Tallaght.
Workers at the Belgard plant were shocked and angry following the announcement by the Jacob Fruitfield Food Group that factory would be closing and the manufacture of biscuits contracted out to companies in Britain and Europe.
We don’t really know what the future holds for us.
Although the plant was underperforming, the timing of the announcement came as a surprise to unions. Joe Byrne, shop steward with the Unite Trade Union says
We are and everybody on the site is shocked and utterly dismayed at the breaking news that the site is going to go into wind-down at this moment in time.
The plant will cease baking biscuits by 2009 however 120 people will continue to be employed in sales and administration. Michael Carey, chair of Jacob Fruitfield Food Group says the Jacob’s biscuits will be produced in a range of facilities that will include Ireland, Britain, France and Portugal.
The Jacob-Fruitfield Group will be making €10 million available for redundancies and the retraining of employees affected by the closure. However finding new manufacturing jobs during a recession may prove difficult.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 25 January 2008. The reporter is Paul Maguire.