Press Release

SIPTU to meet with News UK & Ireland Ltd to discuss threatened closure of Kells Plant

Date Released: 31 August 2021

SIPTU representatives will meet with management from News UK & Ireland tomorrow (Wednesday, 1st September) following an announcement by the company that it intends to close its printing plant in Kells, county Meath.

SIPTU Organiser, Teresa Thompson, said: “The announcement last night (Monday, 30th August) that News UK & Ireland Ltd intends to close its printing plant in Kells has deeply shocked the more than 50 SIPTU members employed at the facility and their families. These workers have continued to work throughout the pandemic and were actively engaged in a review of operations at the plant.

“The plant has been in operation for over 20 years and prints the Irish edition of The Sun, The Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Financial Times. News Corp, of which News UK & Ireland Ltd is a subsidiary, has owned the premises for some time but the Rupert Murdoch owned company only took over the operation of the printing press and the employment of staff earlier this year from Smurfit Kappa News Press. That sale was investigated and approved by the State regulator, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.”

She added: “At the meeting with management tomorrow, SIPTU representatives will be seeking immediate engagement on issues affecting our members. This will include examination of the proposal to close the plant and if this is to proceed ensuring that any associated redundancy packages are reflective of the appropriate Labour Court recommendations.”

SIPTU Shop Steward, Tony Kelly, said: “Myself and my colleagues are deeply saddened and disappointed by the announcement that the company intends to cease printing at the plant. It has left our families and the local community extremely concerned about the future. The SIPTU Committee at the plant is now eager to commence engagement with management to ensure that if the plant is to close the redundancy terms of workers are fair and correspond with existing recommendations.”


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