EJ has informed employees at its Birr facility of its proposals to downsize the facility which may result in the closure of the iron foundry and the potential loss of 32 jobs.
The foundry manufactures a broad range of manhole covers and drainage grates for the construction industry.
Cavanagh Foundry in Birr, was acquired by East Jordan Iron Works in 2000 and became part of the EJ global group of companies. Following a rebrand in 2012, Cavanagh Foundry, the Irish operation, was renamed EJ
In a statement released on Monday, the company states that it is fully committed to retaining a competitive Irish business with a sustainable future and has commenced a consultation process with its employees at Birr.
The statement continues, “EJ will continue its distribution centre and sales and marketing team at Birr and will continue to undertake steel fabrication activities at the facility. In doing so, EJ will continue to employ a workforce of approximately 18 at Birr.”
The company states that a strategic business review by EJ concluded that manufacturing of iron castings should be consolidated to its European headquarters in France due to ‘economies of scale, greater operating efficiency and allows the company to be more competitive in response to challenges in the construction sector’.
“Given the declining volumes manufactured by the Irish operation, the review has concluded that the current structure of the company is no longer commercially viable,” the company states.
Commenting on the announcement, Fred Malpass President of EJ said, “EJ has been reviewing its manufacturing activity and capacity in response to the changing marketplace. We have seen a fundamental contraction in the construction sector in recent years and the Irish market for iron castings has declined. A review of our Irish business shows that we can no longer sustain our current structure at Birr. We are fully committed to safeguarding the future of our Irish business and we deeply regret any job losses that may result from the proposals announced.
“We greatly appreciate the exemplary service of our employees at Birr and the proposed closure is no reflection on their performance. We will now engage in a process of consultation on these proposals. Should the proposals proceed, as a management team we are committed to assisting impacted employees by providing appropriate outplacement support as well as advice on issues such as financial planning.”