Consultation between board game manufacturer Cartamundi - which is to close its Waterford factory - and union representatives will continue with a formal meeting next week to discuss the jobs blow.

Yesterday, Cartamundi announced that it is to cease operations in Waterford by August, with the loss of 234 jobs, in a move described by SIPTU as "devastating" for those affected.

The company manufactures card and board games and among the products assembled at its base on Waterford's Cork Road are Monopoly, Connect Four, Trivial Pursuit and Cluedo.

The factory has been operating since 1977, initially as MB, then Hasbro, and as Cartamundi since the Belgian-based multi-national took over in 2015.

SIPTU said today that it will be holding a formal meeting next week with management from the company.

"A meeting took place this morning in Waterford between the local Cartamundi SIPTU Committee and SIPTU organisers to discuss the shocking announcement yesterday by Cartamundi relating to the proposed closure of the employment by the end of August 2023 with the loss of 240 jobs," manufacturing division organiser Greg Ennis said today.

"Following a brief engagement subsequently with Cartamundi management, it was agreed that a formal meeting to discuss the implications of the announcement will take place on Tuesday, 28 March.

"A general meeting of all SIPTU members in Cartamundi will take place on site immediately after the meeting with management."

He said that disclosures relating to "significant annual dividends" being paid to Cartamundi from its Irish operation to the parent group since the 2015 takeover will form part of SIPTU's discussions.

"The union will do all that it can to try to retain jobs at the Cartamundi facility in Waterford," Mr Ennis said.

"However, should the jobs not be saved the proposed closure will come as a major blow to the workers, their families and the wider Waterford community and will undoubtedly have significant economic consequences for the south-east."

In response to queries on the dividends paid to the Cartamundi parent group from the Waterford operation in recent years, a spokesperson said the company "is not making any further comment as it focuses now on consultations with staff and their representatives".