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Peter Hadden

Fighting to save jobs in Lisnaskea

(June 2006)

From The Socialist, No. 17, June 2006.
Transcribed by Ciaran Crossey.
Marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Workers at the Moy Park plant in Lisnaskea (formerly Ferne Foods) are organising alongside the local community to fight the proposed closure of the plant.

Ferne Foods was a viable company when it was taken over by Moy Park four years ago. At that time Moy Park were planning to concentrate their business in their Dungannon factory where they have recently invested £35 million. They clearly did not want to face competition from a Fermanagh rival. So Ferne was taken over and is now to be mothballed.

Moy Park are currently the fourth largest company in Northern Ireland, employing over 4,000 and with a turnover of £336 million. Two years ago their profits increased by 111% to £8.3 million. Last year there was a further 7% rise to £8.9 million.

In the lead up to the closure announcement, even the Lisnaskea management were kept in the dark. Moy Park are currently resisting demands from the T&GWU for full disclosure of information of the reasons for the closure.

A successful on-going campaign to save this plant must be based on the unions and the local communities and not rely on the politicians who will do no more to save this factory than they did to stop other closures.

If Moy Park insist on pulling out, the demand must be raised for the factory to be taken into public ownership so that the jobs, the skills and the production can be maintained in Fermanagh.

This is not a case of Fermanagh against the rest – the links that exist through the T&GWU with other Moy Park plants should be strengthened. United action across all the plants would force Moy Park to reconsider and would strengthen the position of the union and the workforce generally.

Join the protest march in Lisnaskea on 17 June

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