Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Jobs, Dara Calleary, has expressed his alarm at reports of massive job losses and pay cuts at one of the largest employers in the South East.

It’s reported that eye-care company Bausch and Lomb is to cut up to 200 jobs and enforce substantial pay cuts for remaining staff.

“This would be a major blow to the local economy at the time when Waterford can least afford it,” said Deputy Calleary.

“Bausch and Lomb is one of the largest employers in the South East and has operated in Waterford for more than three decades. For those 30 years it has provided valuable highly-skilled jobs in Waterford and the surrounding area and made an important contribution to the local economy. It is essential that the company’s future in Waterford is secured.

“I am urging the Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton to find out exactly what is going on Bausch and Lomb. My thoughts are with the workers and their families this afternoon. The staff must be a priority for the company and for the Government and State employment agencies. Everything must be done to support the workers and secure the company’s future in Waterford

“Waterford is still in the grips of an unemployment crisis and there is a strong feeling that the city and county has been left behind when it comes to investment in job creation. There are currently 12,531 people on the Live Register in Co Waterford and yet the latest figures, up to the start of this month, show that IDA has not conducted one site visit to the county so far this year. This is a symptom of the two-tiered recovery that this Government is facilitating.”