SIPTU members have expressed their support for the announcement today (Wednesday, 29th April) of a €75 million investment programme in the Bausch and Lomb production plant in Waterford. The decision by the contact lens manufacturer’s parent company, Valeant, is expected to result in the creation of 125 new jobs when the construction of a new production facility is completed in 2016. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Alan O’Leary, said: “This major investment announcement by Valeant is in addition to €41 million invested by the company in the Waterford plant since a restructuring agreement was reached with SIPTU in July last year.“While challenges remain, the fundamental reason why the workers in Bausch and Lomb accepted major changes as part of the restructuring agreement was the commitment made by Valeant to invest in the long term future of the plant.”He added: “Last year a dark cloud hung over Waterford with the public threat to close the Bausch and Lomb plant with the potential loss of over 1,200 jobs. The agreement between SIPTU and management in July 2014 removed this threat.“Since then the sacrifice, hard work and dedication of the workers in the plant, in adopting significant operational change, has created the environment for senior management of the company to consider the Waterford facility as a location for major new investment.”SIPTU Organiser, Allen Dillon, said: “SIPTU will continue to closely engage with local management to work through the restructuring process. The SIPTU supported IDEAS institute will also shortly be commencing a joint worker and management training initiative.“The long term future of the Bausch and Lomb plant has received a boost with today's announcement. It is a huge vote of confidence in the skills of the workforce. We hope that this decision is the beginning of a significant cycle of major investment in the plant that will provide much needed quality jobs for the South East Region."