Thursday 22 August 2019

Restructuring at Celtic Linen brings 62 job losses

Celtic Linen
Celtic Linen

By Esther Hayden

62 jobs are to be lost at Celtic Linen as the company undergoes restructuring.

The laundry and linen supply company said the proposed restructuring is designed to create a more competitive cost structure for the company in the face of a dramatically changed operating environment. If implemented, the restructuring plan will create a sustainable future for the business and the jobs of 324 workers.

The redundancies will affect 42 full-time and 20 part-time workers and will be split between the company's main operations facility in Wexford town and its dedicated transport and logistics division which operates from depots in Dublin, Cork and Wexford.

Established in Wexford town by the local Scallan family in 1926, Celtic Linen is one of Ireland's oldest and largest linen rental companies and currently employs 386 workers.

The restructuring programme has been necessitated by the economic downturn which has severely impacted the company in recent years. Like most of Ireland's service sector industries a more competitive marketplace has significantly reduced rates forcing suppliers to become more cost efficient.

The restructuring plan will see the company exit its Workwear business and focus its operations on its core Hotel and Hospital customers. The change will involve the winding down of its dedicated Workwear laundry with the transfer of employees and resources to the company's Hotel and Hospital laundries. The plan will require a variety of work practice changes across the company's operations including new rostering arrangements and a substantial reorganisation of the company's transport and logistics division.

Overall, the plan will help to build scale and efficiency in the new core areas of operation, provide a better and more competitive service for customers and maintain the maximum level of employment into the future.

Celtic Linen's Managing Director Philip Scallan said: 'This announcement has been a difficult one for the Scallan family. We have been managing this business for nearly 90 years and making people redundant is never easy but it was an unavoidable commercial decision. We looked at every possible alternative but all analysis confirmed that retaining our current cost structure is just unsustainable.

'Celtic Linen is a fundamentally sound business but our operating environment has changed and we must change with it in order to secure our future.'

The restructuring proposals will now be the subject of a thirty day consultation period with all employees and their representatives. The company met with union representatives at the Labour Relations Commission last Wednesday and there will be also be a parallel engagement with non-union employee representatives.

Speaking on behalf of Celtic Linen Emmet Barrett of Keating and Associates said that the company are looking for voluntary redundancies. 'We are asking anyone who feels this might suit their own personal circumstances to put their names on a list. A number of people have already expressed an interest.'

'We need to restructure the business to safeguard the future and make it sustainable into the future.'

Wexford People

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