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Wednesday, 3rd July 2024

B-D to close Drogheda plant with loss of 200 jobs

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“A massive blow for workers and for Drogheda” says Nash

Drogheda TD Ged Nash has slammed B-D’s decision, announced today, that it is to close it’s plant in Drogheda over the next two to three years leading to the loss of 200 jobs.

“This is devastating news for the 200 loyal workers and their families. It is also a massive blow for Drogheda” the Labour Deputy said.

“Drogheda is Ireland’s largest town. It will now lose it’s only large-scale IDA-backed manufacturing company.

“This government and its agencies are asleep at the wheel when it comes to investment in Drogheda.

“It is easier to work to retain jobs than create them. The question for this government and the IDA is – when did you know about B-D’s plans, and what have you done to keep these jobs in Drogheda?

“Fine Gael and Fianna Fail seem content to see Drogheda, with already enormous rates of commuting to Dublin, become an effective dormitory town to supply the city with workers.

“Drogheda’s location, skills and infrastructure should make it an ideal location for jobs investment yet all we are treated to is patronising lip-service from this government.

“This government must now set up an expert-led enterprise task force to address the question of investment in Drogheda to avoid our area becoming a foreign direct-investment backwater.”

Joint statement from Mayor of Drogheda and Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council

In a joint statement issued in the wake of today’s announcement, the Mayor of Drogheda, Paddy Mc Quillan and Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council, Kevin Callan (pictured above after the mayoral elction on Monday) said they are both extremely saddened to hear of the winding down of the Becton Dickinson plant at Drogheda.

“We are also concerned that this announcement has come as a shock to staff and the local community with the plant celebrating its 60th anniversary in Drogheda where it has employed generations of local people” they said.

“We are jointly requesting to meet with the IDA and the Department of Enterprise to establish what steps have been taken to date, are being taken and can be taken to try to reduce the impact on those effected, their families and the community.

“We will be seeking a number of meetings tomorrow in Leinster House to start this process of establishing if there is anything that can be done to help.”

Exactly a year ago today Becton Dickinson confirmed that it was to seek 60 redundancies at its plant at Donore Road Drogheda.

The fact that any jobs were at risk at the plant came as a total bombshell at the time because, in December 2021, the company had announced that it was to spend €62m on a major expansion at the Drogheda factory and create 100 new jobs.

At that time the company said the Drogheda teams’ quality of work had contributed to attracting the global funding for the Drogheda factory which was first established in 1964 and has been an important employer locally ever since. 

SIPTU calls for Government intervention 

SIPTU representatives have today (Wednesday, 3rd July) called for an immediate Government intervention to protect the local economy in county Louth, following the announcement that Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) intends to close its plant in Drogheda in 2026 with the loss of approximately 200 jobs.

SIPTU Manufacturing Divisional Organiser, Neil McGowan, said: “SIPTU representatives will immediately engage with the employer to attempt to save as many jobs as possible. BD has provided quality employment for decades in the county Louth area. The announcement of the plant’s proposed closure is a devastating blow to workers, their families and the wider community. 

“All stakeholders, including the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Peter Burke and the IDA must get around the table with us to work on how we can save or attract quality jobs for Drogheda and the surrounding area.” 

He added: “SIPTU will not accept anything less than concentrated and swift Government intervention to ensure an IDA-backed manufacturing company remains in this area. We cannot allow a situation where the skills of our members in BD and the infrastructure that is in place already is allowed to go to the wall while the Government sits on its hands.”

A devastating blow for BD workers - Munster

Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster described the closure of BD in Drogheda as “a body blow to the town” and has expressed her shock and concern for the 170 workers who will now lose their jobs.

“It’s yet another example of the neglect of the town that has been allowed to continue for years under this government and previous governments" she said. “BD provided employment in Drogheda for 60 years. Everyone knows someone who worked in BD.

“The lack of interest the government has shown in Drogheda is insulting to the town. We need investment, we need jobs.I’ve written to the Minister asking him to ensure the IDA has a particular focus on Drogheda in terms of job creation for Ireland’s largest town.

“The government needs to work with us on this, not against us.”

In a statement, BD said it remains committed to Ireland, and that none of its other Irish sites will be impacted by the decision.

“BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) continuously reviews its global manufacturing and supply chain network to ensure they are operating as efficiently as possible. As a result of a recent review, a decision has been taken to gradually wind down operations at BD’s Drogheda plant over the next two-and-a-half years." 

“This will unfortunately potentially result in the loss of around 200 jobs. Whilst we understand that this will be difficult news for employees working at the plant, this decision is not a reflection of their work. As a responsible business, we have to ensure that all of our operations are efficient and that our resources are allocated in the most effective manner possible."

Read our previous article published on Monday July 3rd 2023:

Shock as Becton Dickinson seeks 60 redundancies in Drogheda

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