County Limerick company puts 200 staff on part time hours

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

County Limerick company puts 200 staff on part time hours

Kostal Abbeyfeale has put 200 of its 693 workers on part time hours

KOSTAL in Abbeyfeale has confirmed that 200 of its 693 workers have been put on a  three-day weeks since last Friday.

The company said in a statement the cut in working hours would last five weeks, until April 19. 

The reason behind the move, the company said, was  "an unexpected reduction in customer demand" for its on-board charger products that are used in all-electric and plug-ins in  hybrid electric vehicles.

Kostal gave no explanation as to what was behind the reduction in demand but it is understood it was not Brexit related.

Kostal has two plants in Ireland, one in Abbeyfeale and a second in Mallow, employing  over 1000 workers and  manufacturing electronic and mechatronic products for the automobile industry. 

“It is disappointing news but if that is what it takes to keep the plant going, then so be it,” local councillor Liam Galvin said this Tuesday. “I would be hoping they would be back up in full production again in five weeks.” 

The Kostal announcement has come as an unsettling surprise in the town which is heavily dependant on the plant for employment. 

“It is only for a few weeks, but it’s still a bit of a joke. I’ve rent to pay and mouths to feed,” was the reaction of one employee. “Things are going from bad to worse for this town. Kostal is one of the last places providing work in Abbeyfeale and if it was to close, we would be in trouble.”