6 January 2000 Edition

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Hawkes Bay must meet obligations

Sinn Féin Councillor Arthur Morgan has urged the Dublin government to ensure that plant machinery and stock at Ardee's Hawke's Bay denim clothing factory are not removed until the company meets its obligations to the 300 employees.

Louth County Councillor Arthur Morgan said on Wednesday, 5 January: ``The people of Ardee are devastated this evening at the abrupt closure of Hawkes Bay, which has been the main employer in the town for many years.

``There is an urgent need for the government to ensure that equipment does not disappear from the factory and that the company meets its full obligations to the 300 workers whose family and community depend on this industry. Hawkes Bay cannot just fold its arms, close the doors and walk away.

``Many workers believe that this closure is part of a move to relocate the Ardee plant's business to Pakistan to exploit cheap labour costs there.

``The Employment Minister Mary Harney and the government must now step in and safeguard the jobs of those employed by this company.

``The short-sighted approach of the government agencies in leaving a small town like Ardee dependant on one employer for so many years was negligent. This is a mistake which must not be repeated in the future.''

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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