Decisions taken by senior employees at the Largo Food company in Gweedore will dictate the number of people who are employed at the plant in the future according to the founding member of the company, Raymond Coyle.
Two years ago, as part of a restructuring plan at the site, a number of senior employees took the decision to reduce their hours and work three days a week. This decision meant there were more hours made available at the plant and as a result, more people could work at the Gaeltacht based company.
Senior workers had their wages supplemented by a welfare payment during this period which is due to run out at Christmas. As a result a number of these workers may now wish to return to work full-time to supplement their wages.
Yesterday morning, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Raymond Coyle said he wished that the situation could remain the same but the decisions remained with those who work there.
“The decision is down to the people who work there and we will go along with that. I am still putting more money into the company. The future is solid at this site for the next four to five years. Seventy five per cent of what we make is being sent to the UK,” he said.
At present there are currently 198 people employed in the Gaeltacht plant on both a fulltime and part-time basis (130 full-time equivalent jobs).
A statement issued by the company this week said: “Two years ago Largo Foods, in an effort to remain competitive, undertook a restructuring plan. In order to facilitate as many of its employees as possible the company, as requested by its employees at the time agreed to implement a short-time working arrangement of three days a week. A number of the employees have now indicated to the company that they wish to return to full time employment and this, unfortunately, will result in some redundancies. Largo Foods, however, would like to state that the company has plans to further invest in its plant in Gaoth Dobhair and this will ultimately lead to the creation of further fulltime jobs.”
Managing Director, Raymond Coyle stated that another 12 full-time positions would become available at the Derrybeg based plant in December or January.
“There are only so many hours work available. There are two issues, some people would like redundancy and some people want to return to five days a week. If some people want to leave and take redundancy then they can do it. If the senior employees there want to work five days a week, they get first choice. I would prefer it if it stayed as it was but that is how it is. You make the decision, you are the people who work there,” he said.
Management also confirmed that there will be no reduction in hours worked at its plant in Gaoth Dobhair.