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Loss of 87 jobs as Imperial Tobacco to close in Westmeath

A 30-day consultation process on redundancies is to get underway.

TOBACCO PRODUCTS FACTORY Imperial Tobacco Limited is to close with the loss of 87 jobs.

The majority of staff will leave the manufacturing facility in Mullingar in October.

Imperial Tobacco is blaming new EU legislation which introduced 30g minimum pack sizes for rolling tobacco products from May 2016. It says this led to the decommissioning of a number of production lines.

The firm is moving its remaining production to a site in the Netherlands while a 30-day consultation process on redundancies is to get underway for staff in Mullingar.

Ian King, Operations Director of Western Europe Factory Management said, “Any job losses are regrettable and we will continue to support our employees and ensure that they are treated in a fair and responsible manner.”

There will be no change to the sale and availability of Imperial Tobacco brands in Ireland including Golden Virginia and Drum.

SIPTU representatives will meet with the management of Imperial Tobacco next week to discuss today’s announcement.

SIPTU Organiser, Michael Browne, said that the news has come as a “complete shock”.

The company is an important employer in the area and this announcement is of massive concern to the local community. Union representatives are to meet with the company to discuss its decision and to ensure our members interests are fully protected.

He said that its members at the plant were “informed today that discussions on its closure are to commence immediately and production is expected to cease during September”.

Approximately 80 SIPTU members are employed at the plant, which has been in operation since 1967.

Read: Eight million contraband cigarettes found in container marked ‘garden furniture’>

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