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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 24 July, 2014

Sit-in at Cork Target Express plant begins after company ceases trading

Meanwhile, the Irish Road Haulage Association has said it fears there will be thousands more job losses before Christmas because of fuel price increases.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

WORKERS AT A Target Express plant in Cork have begun a sit-in after it was announced the company is to cease trading.

The Cork Independent says that the workers at the company’s Little Island office are staging the sit-in.

The company delivers parcels and pallets around the country and to the UK, and has plants in different locations around Ireland. Its base is in Northern Ireland.

The news comes after Seamus McBrien, the owner of Target Express, spoke to Newstalk about the reasons behind it ceasing trading.

Speaking to Breakfast on Newstalk, McBrien said that the company owed Revenue just over €300,000, and paid them €214,000 last Monday. He said that Revenue wanted him to pay a further €80,000 that he owed by the Wednesday but he told them he would pay it on the Friday.

When it was not paid on the Wednesday, an attachment order was put on the company’s bank accounts, said McBrien, which meant he could not pay wages or access money.

McBrien said the company was expected to make €1.6million by the end of this year.

Staff told RTÉ that they had not received their wages last Friday.

Job losses

Meanwhile, the Irish Road Haulage Association has warned that while the closure of Target Express is very concerning, “it is only a reflection of the current state of emergency which exists within the Irish road haulage industry in Ireland”.

With the loss of almost 400 jobs associated with Target Express, the IRHA fears that unless increasing fuel prices are stemmed, there will be thousands more job losses before Christmas.

President of the IRHA Eoin Gavin stated:

The industry is in dire straits at the present time. The price of diesel is rapidly increasing and the Government are very slow to react and prevent further closures of transport companies and the loss of associated jobs.

He added that the current working environment “is simply not sustainable for our members and we cannot and will not be able to maintain the current level of employment within the sector”.

There are 50,000 people, inclusive of ancillary jobs, employed within the industry and without the introduction of an Essential User Fuel Rebate (EUR) for tax compliant, licensed operators that level of employment will drop dramatically over the coming months. Government intervention is urgently required in order to continue to facilitate our export led economic recovery.

Read: New corporate watchdog could still pursue Wallace’s €1.4m tax case>

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