Up to sixty jobs expected to go at Tuam company

Staff at contact lens manufacturer Transitions Optical have been warned that the Tuam-based company is facing up to 60 job losses.

The 170-strong workforce was told at a meeting yesterday that the company needed to reduce it staffing levels, with up to 60 redundancies expected. It is understood that part of the company’s manufacturing operation could be moved to Asia to look after its Asian clients. The company, which manufactures photochromic plastic lenses, is expected to keep its European manufacturing base in Tuam.

Tuam-based Fianna Fáil TD Colm Keaveney has expressed concern at the prospect of job losses at the facility.

“Transitions Optical has been a key employer in Tuam for the past 20 years,” Dep Keaveney said. “The news is extremely worrying and I’m calling on management to clarify the situation. Any cost cutting or redundancy plans will have a huge impact on the local economy, which is already struggling to recover in the aftermath of the economic crash.

“I’m extremely worried about the impact of these job losses on Tuam and its surrounding towns and villages,” he added. “This announcement is compounded by the Government’s investment policy, which predominantly concentrates on large urban areas, with towns like Tuam being left behind. Minister Bruton needs to address this imbalance and take a new approach ensuring that all regions are catered for in his investment and job creation plans. The current Government policy has led to a two-tier recovery, with unemployment here in the west significantly higher than in Dublin. There is a severe lack of focused regional development, and I’m calling on the Minister to urgently address this issue.”

Dep Keaveney has called on Minister for Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation Richard Bruton to deliver on the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, which promised to target more IDA investment outside the main cities.

“The Minister needs to follow through on this commitment and ensure that people in towns like Tuam are afforded new opportunities and prospects,” he said. “People in the west are tired of this Government’s broken promises, which have seen the dismantling of essential services like the closure of Garda stations, small schools, and local services. Boarded up shop fronts have become commonplace in towns and villages across the county. This trend needs to be reversed and replaced with a strategic investment plan. I’m calling on the Minister to take a more balanced approach to job creation here to level the playing field and ensure that towns like Tuam are afforded the same development and employment prospects as urban areas.”

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