Sunday, September 6, 2009

Greed, Greed, Greed behind Teva Job losses

It is truly devastating for everyone in Waterford to hear of the news that Teva is to cease its tablet production in Waterford. I was attending an important meeting of the City Development Board where we were discussing economic development when news seeped through that 315 jobs were to go at the plant. My immediate thoughts were of anger that faceless people motivated by greed can make such decisions with no regard for those who work for them. I thought of the 315 people, their families and dependents and what it will be like for them as they attempt to find work in these challenging times.

It is important that we do no lose sight of the human side of all of this. Nearly 15,000 people in Waterford are now on the dole. That is 15,000 families with mortgages to pay, children to provide for and all on just over €200 a week. These job losses will further weaken an already battered local economy. How much more can we take?

I am hesitant to make the typical call for the setting up of task forces and the like. We need action. In Waterford City we must lesson our dependence on Multi-nationals. We need to see greater development of local indigenous industry and give better support to the SME sector.

This week I furnished the city manager with a document – Getting Waterford Back to Work. The document is a call to action. The coalition Government has failed Waterford and has failed the 15,000 people now signing on. To say they need to do more is an understatement, however let us not sit on our backsides and wait for someone else to do something for us. We all have a responsibility to come up with solutions and play our part. While it is difficult to be positive and easy to be angry we must be constructive in helping to sort out the mess others have created.

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