“Reports today of further job losses in Cork are extremely disturbing as the county has been haemorrhaging job losses at a ferocious rate. The news of 180 job losses at the Pfizer plant in Little Island will come as a devastating blow to those who will now be forced onto the dole queues during this time of economic uncertainty. My thoughts are with them and their families during this difficult time.
“Job losses of this nature do not bode well for the economy as these are the sort of high-value jobs that Ireland should be attracting. I have called on the Government to set up a taskforce to determine why so many jobs are being lost in Cork in recent months and to take the matter in hand once and for all.
“With the future of the second Pfizer plant at Ringaskiddy, which is also up for sale, in doubt every effort must be made to secure a buyer for the plant as additional job losses would have a disastrous effect on the local economy.
“The Government must deal with the cost of doing business in Ireland without delay and appropriate steps towards restoring Ireland’s competitiveness must be taken immediately. The Government must ensure investment and job creation in Ireland through the upskilling of our workforce, through investment in infrastructure and by slashing regulatory red tape.
“Retraining must be offered to those being let go from the Little Island plant when it closes at the end of 2009 so that alternative employment can be secured more easily. An attractive redundancy package must also be put in place for workers.
“The number of job losses in Cork is spiralling out of control. I am calling on the Tanaiste to immediately utilise Government resources to find a buyer for the second Pfizer plant at Ringaskiddy. Leadership is needed now more than ever to ensure that further job losses do not occur. Under no circumstances can we allow the closure of the second plant in Cork.”