Fears for more than 50 jobs at Galway dairy plant after sale of milk interests

The board of directors at Arrabawn confirmed on Friday they had decided to accept an offer from Aurivo to purchase its liquid milk sales book.
Fears for more than 50 jobs at Galway dairy plant after sale of milk interests

By Michelle Devane, PA

About 55 jobs may be in jeopardy at the Arrabawn dairies plant in Galway after the company confirmed the sale of its liquid milk sales book.

The board of directors at Arrabawn confirmed on Friday they had decided to accept an offer from Aurivo to purchase its liquid milk sales book but said the site in Kilconnell near Ballinasloe is not included in the sale.

The company said about half of the 110 staff at the plant will be transferred with the business. The outcome for the rest of the jobs remains uncertain.

“The site in Kilconnell is not included in the sale and Arrabawn is looking at options for alternative use,” the company said in a statement.

 

“The co-op employs 110 people in this area of its business.

“Approximately half of these, mostly sales employees, will transfer with the business, with redeployment opportunities also being made available to others across the wider business.”

“The deal is subject to due diligence and approval from the Competition Authority.

“Subject to the sale going ahead, it is anticipated that processing at the plant will continue until summer 2023.

“Milk supply and upcoming liquid milk contracts will not be impacted by this decision.”

The company added: “Arrabawn’s priority is to support all employees and suppliers during the transition. A consultation process is under way with staff to ensure all necessary supports are being provided during the transition.”

Local Sinn Féin TD Claire Kerrane said the decision had been “rushed” and that workers had not been consulted.

“There’s going to be a role in the first instance for SIPTU to represent the workers, for the Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Enterprise as well,” the Roscommon-Galway TD told Galway Bay FM.

“Now that we have some idea in relation to what the outcome is and what the situation is for the workers in particular, we all need to get around the table now and we need a plan to be put in place for the workers and for the retention or replacement of jobs in Kilconnell.”

 

Local Fine Gael senator Aisling Dolan said there was “shock” at Arrabawn’s decision given it's a major source of employment in the area.

She said staff at the plant must have their jobs secured.

“The focus has to be on the security of all jobs there,” she said. “There is a proud history here, and it is an excellent dairy processing facility.”

Ms Dolan called on the company to be “transparent and clear” on what exactly their plans are for employees.

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