8 May 2003 Edition

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Doherty presses minister on Desmonds Job losses

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty has called on British Enterprise Trade and Employment minister, Ian Pearson, to act quickly after the announcement by Desmonds that it is to shed 482 jobs with the closure of its Omagh, Swatragh and Irvinestown factories.

Doherty expressed sympathy with the plight of those affected. He said: "This massive job loss announcement is an earth shattering blow to the workers laid off and their families. Workers are extremely fearful for their future employment prospects given the current economic situation that exists in the North West, especially following the announcement of 158 job losses at Herdsmans,

Doherty told An Phoblacht that he had written to Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister Ian Pearson requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the deteriorating economic situation in the North West and particularly the crisis facing the textile sector.

He said: "Following this latest and devastating job losses announcement, this meeting will take on added significance. I will be impressing upon the Minister the need to adopt a more hands-on approach in tackling the jobs crisis in the North West and the need to initiate a cross-departmental task force and put in place a holistic strategy encompassing retraining, infrastructure, inward investment and greater support for indigenous industry."

Sinn Féin MPs Pat Doherty, Martin McGuinness and Michelle Gildernew are also scheduled to meet with the senior management of Desmonds & Sons.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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