Camden Glass, part of Camden Group, to close Benburb plant at cost of 65 jobs

Joanne McWilliams

Joanne McWilliams, Regional Officer

Management must compensate workers who now redundancy for their long-service and commitment

Union questions whether any Invest NI grant-aid contributed to decision to cut jobs

January 21st: Unite Regional Officer Joanne McWilliams, responsible for Unite’s membership at Camden Glass, a manufacturer and supplier of PVCu products, reacted with dismay to management plans to close their Benburb plant:

“Our members had raised concerns about recent transfers of equipment and it was only when I met management to seek clarification that they informed me that they were commencing a statutory 30-day consultation on closing their glass production plant in Benburb.

“This decision will result in a loss of sixty-five jobs. Management seek to justify the decision on the grounds that they would be investing in a new production facility in Antrim which would create fifty new jobs. But this is cold comfort to the workforce in Benburb.

“Many workers in Benburb have longstanding service at the plant: one of our members has worked there for forty-three years. To compound their decision, management have offered the workforce only the bare minimum, statutory redundancy.

“Camden Group must live up to their social responsibilities and fully compensate their workforce for a decision driven by corporate priorities. Many of the workers facing redundancy have built the company’s success long before the current management took over. If they remain intent on closing the plant they must provide improved redundancy for their workers in recognition of their longstanding commitment, loyalty and hard work.

“The NI Manufacturing workforce continues to face a period of uncertainty. The overriding priority of all-too-many companies is to focus on profit above all else.

“Unite is also reviewing the role of Invest NI in this decision. In 2011, it was widely promoted that the company received grant-aid of £1.6 million in return for creating 225 jobs. We are seeking clarification whether Invest NI support in any way contributed to the decision to close Benburb and whether any of the sixty-five jobs affected by this closure were included in the job creation total”, Ms McWilliams concluded.

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