WITH Shannon company Avara in provisional liquidation, local county councillor Mike McKee has raised concerns about public safety, given the chemicals stored there and about the level of redundancy being offered to departing workers.
On Wednesday, Councillor McKee said, “My understanding is that they are going to keep a skeleton staff there, due to the fact that there are materials in the plant. The materials in the plant are quite significant and could be construed as quite dangerous chemicals. One has to question are the company being responsible on this because of the seriousness of the raw products that are in situ in the plant. They would be left on their own with just a handful of people monitoring them. I do know for a fact that the chemicals are not the most stable.”
He questioned if the people currently charged with running the company, as a buyer is sought, are aware of some of the incidents that have happened there over the years, under different owners.
“They probably do not have an understanding of the history there. We’ve had the odours at one stage, we had an explosion, we’ve had fires in there.”
Councillor McKee said that it looks like workers leaving the plant, many of them there for years, will not receive much in the way of redundancy.
“It’s a company that’s been there for around 35 years, they have gone through various transformations from one owner to another and it would appear that the terms of the contracts have been changed completely. It looks like the workforce will only get statutory redundancy.”
Avara Pharmaceutical was placed in provisional liquidation recently, as it was found to be insolvent, with huge debts.There are hopes that an Asian company will opt to buy it and that at least some of the jobs will be saved. It is expected that more information on its future will become available next week.