Sinn Féin Dublin EU Candidate Lynn Boylan has described this week’s announcement by MSD Pharmaceuticals that it intends to close its Swords plant with the loss of 570 jobs as devastating for the workers and their families.
The young Dublin candidate said:
“Challenges facing MSD Pharmaceutical since its merger with Schering Plough in 2009 have been widely reported on. Earlier this year top management restated that rationalisation would continue with a number of plant closures having already taken place.
“This week’s announcement that MSD intends to close its Swords plant by 2017 will be devastating for the employees of the company and their families. However the incremental closure of the plant offers a window of opportunity for the IDA, government and other state agencies to act to ensure workers secure appropriate alternative employment.
“Supporting the manufacturing sector in any and all action plans for jobs is critical. Large pharmaceutical companies are facing particular difficulties and this is resulting in jobs losses. It is incumbent on the Minister for Jobs, the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and others to develop strategies to ensure Dublin retains and develops sustainable decent and skilled jobs in the pharmaceutical and indeed wider manufacturing sectors.
“Whilst the latest employment figures are positive some red flags remain. Average weekly earnings have decreased by 2.4%, over half of the new jobs created are self-employed and emigration remains high with 1,700 leaving the state each week.
“Supporting indigenous businesses to expand and take on new staff, and developing Ireland’s manufacturing sector are critically important strands of the state’s recovery programme. We need to see a much more urgent and rapid response from government working and the relevant state agencies.” ENDS