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Cartamundi's factory in Waterford Cartamundi
shock closure

Siptu to raise millions paid out in dividends by Cartamundi's Ireland site in job losses talks

The company is to close its Waterford factory where 234 people are employed.

TRADE UNION SIPTU is to meet with management at game-maker Cartamundi after it announced plans to close its Waterford plant. 

As many as 234 jobs are set to be lost when it ceases production in August, amid claims from the company that a “post-Covid decline” in demand for board games alongside inflation and overcapacity resulted in the closure.

However, the union has said it intends on raising “recent disclosures relating to significant annual dividends” paid out to the company in discussions set to take place next week.

Earlier today, the Irish Times reported that the owners of Cartamundi received almost €31 million in dividends from Ireland in recent years before taking the decision to close the Waterford factory.

“The recent disclosures relating to significant annual dividends being paid to Cartamundi since its takeover from previous owners, Hasbro, in 2015 and the potential viability of the employment will form part of SIPTU’s discussions with management next week,” Greg Ennis, the union’s manufacturing division organiser, said. 

“The Union will do all that it can to try to retain jobs at the Cartamundi facility in Waterford.

“However, should the jobs not be saved the proposed closure will come as a major blow to the workers, their families and the wider Waterford community and will undoubtably have significant economic consequences for the South-East.” 

The Belgian company took over the plant in 2015 from Hasbro, which had previously taken over the facility from Milton Bradley.

The factory has been manufacturing board games since 1977.

News of its closure yesterday was met with dismay locally and politicians have called for the government to do all it can to support workers affected.

SIPTU representatives are to hold a formal meeting with the management of Cartamundi in Waterford next week to discuss the proposed closure of the company in August with the loss of 240 jobs.

Ennis said a meeting took place this morning in Waterford between the local Cartamundi Siptu Committee and union organisers to discuss the shock announcement.

Following the “brief engagement” with Cartamundi management, Ennis said it was agreed that a formal meeting to discuss the “implications” of the announcement will take place on Tuesday.

A general meeting of all Siptu members in Cartamundi will take place on site immediately after the meeting with management.

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