Breen calls for EU funding for Shannon companies following Sykes jobs fears

November 19th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael Clare TD and Deputy Foreign Affairs Spokesman Pat Breen has urged the Tánaiste to immediately apply for funding under the EU Globalisation Fund for Companies operating in the Shannon Free Zone. He was speaking following fears that 100 jobs will be lost at Sykes Enterprises in Shannon.

“The fears arose after Sykes Enterprises, a call centre service provider, lost a contract with Sony, and following the loss of contracts with Dell, Kodak and Motorola. At its peak the company employed 380 people. I now understand that after this latest news, only 60 staff will remain in the Shannon facility.

“The high cost of doing business in Ireland is a major factor, as jobs like these at Sykes are being lost to cheaper economies. Yet the Government has done nothing to address our loss of competitiveness.

“The Tánaiste introduced the employment support subsidy for non-export firms 12 months ago. However, we are now some 3,000 job losses later, yet she is completely out of touch as to what is happening on the ground. Several other firms in the Shannon Free Zone are in a similar situation. It is imperative that she takes action before thousands more jobs are lost.

“My colleague, the Fine Gael Mayor of Clare Councillor Tony Mulcahy, has been calling on the Tánaiste for several months to make an immediate application for assistance under the European Globalisation Fund to include Companies in the Shannon Free Zone. The current application only includes former Dell employees, has not even being made available to date, and does not include any Clare companies. The situation is critical. I would urge the Tánaiste to act immediately and open the application to all companies operating in Co. Clare.

“We are at a crossroads here in Co. Clare. Jobs are evaporating at a frightening pace. The lack of Government action and support will spell the death knell for many others.”