Glenaden shirt factory to close

THE remaining workers at Glenaden Shirts on the Waterside's Trench Road have lost their jobs.

Workers at the factory only learned of the situation when they returned to work on Monday morning, although the plant went into administration last Thursday.

A company spokesperson confirmed the last of the positions, believed to be in the region of 30-are being axed.

There was no further comment, but it is understood workers were told the company does not have any funds to cover redundancy payments and therefore employees will receive statutory payments from the government.

Foyle MP Mark Durkan said: "News that the remaining 30 jobs at Glenaden are being lost is a further blow to what is left of the textile manufacturing tradition in this city. Obviously the priority for the workers-if the business cannot be maintained-will be to secure prompt payment of the notice money that is due to them and to their redundancy payments."

Ironically, the job losses were announced as the company said 2007 had been the most successful in its history, with sales increases of 30 per cent to 4.4 million.

It is thought that Trade Unions have that been negotiating with Glenaden management over the previous lay-offs will continue to represent workers and the Citizens Advice Bureau will be at hand to provide advice.

In January this year Glenaden Shirts shed 85 of the 115 jobs at their factory. A fall in orders led to company to shed 53 jobs in November 2005. This came three years after the company invested 2.4 million at the plant, with the creation of 40 jobs in 2002.

At one point the factory made around 300,000 shirts annually for leading names such as Thomas Pink, Burberry and Asquascutum. However Glenaden is the latest in a line of Northern Ireland companies that have fallen prey to low manufacturing costs in the Far East.

"The loss of these jobs reinforces the need for us to secure further investment for the Northwest and for the expansion of further and higher education and training so that these workers can equip themselves with the knowledge and skills needed for toady's economy," said Mark Durkan.