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Waterford's biggest employer is seeking as many as 200 redundancies

Bausch and Lomb has said that “substantial cost reductions” are required at the plant.

Image: contact lens via ut

Updated 22:50pm

HUNDREDS OF REDUNDANCIES have been announced at the Bausch and Lomb plant in Waterford.

The cuts are to ensure that the plant, which manufactures contact lens and other pharmaceutical products, remains viable.

“Our review of our manufacturing facilities shows that Waterford’s cost base is substantially out of line with other plants within the Bausch + Lomb infrastructure,” said Angelo Conti, Vice President of Manufacturing, adding that it’s “trailing” position in the market means that the “the status quo is not sustainable”.

We are now faced with a stark choice; restructure in Waterford and secure its future, or see the plant close.

It is currently the largest employer in the county, with just over 1,100 staff.

Around 200 redundancies will be sought, as well as a significant pay cut as up to 20 per cent to bring the plant in line with its American counterparts.

The company said it will enter into discussions with unions and other staff representatives on Tuesday next week, with deliberations expected to continue for two weeks.

Siptu said it was “very bad news” for the plant, coming at a time when “retaining quality manufacturing jobs is a key priority”.

“[We are] calling on the Government to redouble its efforts to protect jobs in Bausch and Lomb, the largest employer in the South East Region,” sector organiser Alan O’Leary said, adding that they will try to “minimise the job losses” during consultation with Bausch and Lomb.

Originally published 11.40am

Read: Diageo to cease operations at Waterford brewery >

More: 150 jobs to go as Musgrave ends deal with Blanchardstown supplier >

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Nicky Ryan

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