Element Six jobs plan must point the way for mid west regeneration – Breen

July 30th, 2009 - Pat Breen

News that the Element Six plant in Shannon could be saved has been welcomed by Fine Gael Clare TD Pat Breen who said this initiative points the way forward for job creation in the mid west region, especially given the appalling record of the Fianna Fáil Government in the area.

Speaking following the publication of the Interim Report from the Mid West Taskforce, which warned that the region faces serious long-term unemployment unless urgent action is taken, Deputy Breen said the new initiative from Element Six management was a rare chink of light.

“I commend the Element Six management team for taking this initiative to save the facility and its jobs. This move could avoid the closure of Element Six and secure the long-term future for its workforce at the facility, which has operated in Shannon since the 1960s.

“At a recent meeting with the workforce I stressed the importance of maintaining contact with the parent De Beers company in South Africa. The Shannon facility is strategically significant and plays a crucial role in the region.

“The Interim Report of the Mid-West Task Force painted a bleak future for the region unless urgent action is taken. The Government’s record in the area is appalling and I hope the report shakes Fianna Fáil into action to help the region.

“The emphasis must now be on job creation and retention, and Fianna Fáil must make every effort to secure the jobs at Element Six, including the provision of support for upskilling and retraining.

“Element Six’s staff have been very loyal to the Company and adapted to a wide range of challenges. The staff are highly skilled and I believe they will play a crucial role in the company’s future.

“I sincerely hope that the new plan will secure all 370 jobs at the facility. If not, any workers who do lose their jobs should receive a fair and equitable redundancy package.”