Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Colm Keaveney has expressed concern at reports of job losses at Transitions Optical in Tuam. The company, which manufactures photochromic plastic lenses is seeking redundancies at the plant. Management have indicated that it’s to move a production line abroad, with the loss of 60 jobs.
Deputy Keaveney commented, “Transitions Optical has been a key employer in Tuam for the past 20 years and has built up a workforce of more than 250 people. The news today is extremely worrying and I’m calling on management to clarify the situation. Any cost cutting or redundancy plans will have a huge impact on the local economy, which is already struggling to recover in the aftermath of the economic crash.
“I’m extremely worried about the impact of these job losses on Tuam and it’s surrounding towns and villages. This announcement is compounded by the Government’s investment policy, which predominantly concentrates on large urban areas, with towns like Tuam being left behind. Minister Bruton needs to address this imbalance and take a new approach ensuring that all regions are catered for in his investment and job creation plans. The current Government policy has led to a two-tier recovery, with unemployment here in the West significantly higher than in Dublin. There is a severe lack of focused regional development, and I’m calling on the Minister to urgently address this issue.
“The Government’s recent Action Plan for Jobs promised to target more IDA investment outside the main cities. The Minister needs follow through on this commitment and ensure that people in towns like Tuam are afforded new opportunities and prospects.
“People in the West are tired of this Government’s broken promises, which have seen the dismantling of essential services like the closure of Garda stations, small schools and local services. Boarded up shop fronts have become commonplace in towns and villages across the county. This trend needs to be reversed and replaced with a strategic investment plan. I’m calling on the Minister to take a more balanced approach to job creation here to level the playing field and ensure that towns like Tuam are afforded the same development and employment prospects as urban areas.