A FACTORY which employs around 700 people in West Limerick will temporarily close its doors, because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Kostal, located in Abbeyfeale, will close its doors for at least a month. The company has another facility in Mallow, Co Cork,.
It is hoped that, if market conditions permit, both plants will be able to resume operations from around April 27.
Workers from inside the factory in Abbeyfeale were informed that the factory will shut its doors as of close of business on Tuesday.
“I'm there for four years, so I'm full time. There is about 150 to 200 people that are only temps and are worried they won't be coming back at all,”
“There are a lot of couples with families working there. They are really going to feel it.”
A statement from the company today said, "This is a most regrettable but necessary course of action under the circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic which has presented us with serious challenges in meeting public safety directives around social distancing, given the numbers of employees on site. The safety and welfare of our workforce is paramount.
"Our operations have also been impacted by Covid-19 in terms of supply chain and a decrease in demand for products across Europe.
"This closure is for an initial period up to 27th April and will be reviewed with resumption thereafter depending on developments with Covid-19."
The decision followed the widespread shutdown of major car production plants in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain because of the coronavirus crisis, which in turn reduced the demand for the electronic component the factory produces.
The firm is one the largest employers in Munster, and the most prominent employer in the Abbeyfeale area.