First and foremost, my thoughts are with the workers affected and their families at what is a very difficult time. Enterprise Ireland has been engaging with Rondo Foods since 2011 and since the announcement by the company on the 8th November of possible redundancies, Enterprise Ireland has been engaging intensively with the company to see it is was possible to find a solution and avert the job losses. Unfortunately, however, this has not proved possible to avert these job losses and the company announced on 9th December that the factory in Arklow will close at the end of January 2020 and the facility will be relocated to Krefeld in Germany.
The Government will make every State support available to the employees of Rondo Foods. The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection is aware of the situation and we will be collectively, across Government, doing our utmost to help these workers transition and find new employment opportunities.
The staff of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) will be available to meet the employees concerned, either individually or collectively, to discuss their employment rights. I would urge any employees who have any concerns about their employment rights to contact the WRC.
The company has confirmed on 9th December that all staff have been offered redundancy packages which exceed the scale of the mandatory statutory redundancy packages.
Enterprise Ireland was in attendance along with the Wicklow Local Enterprise Office at an information meeting for all Rondo employees on Monday 16th December which was organised by Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
At the information meeting for all staff Enterprise Ireland provided information on:
- The Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start Up supports available for start-up food businesses and;
- The FoodWorks programme for high potential food businesses.
In addition to marketing Wicklow for new investment, both Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland continue to work with their existing client companies in the area with a view to encouraging them to grow and embed their businesses.
Notwithstanding this extremely disappointing news, it’s important to remember that the overall trend in terms of job creation in Co. Wicklow is positive.