113 jobs have been lost with the closure of the Warner lingerie factory in Belmullet in County Mayo. A SIPTU spokesman said that the impact of the job losses on North Mayo would be similar to the effect the closure of the Fruit of the Loom textile factory had on Donegal.
The Warner workforce, many of whom returned from England ten years ago when the factory opened, spoke this lunchtime of their sense of anger and heartbreak. Machinist Pat Carey said that the redundancy form she had been handed this morning was in reality a CV for the dole office. It was appalling she said that the Warner workforce was again being broken up and forced to consider re-emigration at a time when, according to the Tánaiste, the country is awash with money.
SIPTU shop steward Pat Deane said that while a Government task force had been set up it seemed to lack a sense of urgency about the seriousness of the situation as the closure of the plant was a real crisis for Erris. Chis Birrane a worker member on the jobs task force said he could not even contemplate the prospect of waking up tomorrow morning and not having a job to go to.