Jordan Plastics at Annaghmore are closing after almost 50 years, with the loss of around 21 jobs.
Workers were given the shattering news on Monday morning by the parent company, the worldwide RPC Group. They cited annual losses to the tune of £300,000 over the past three years as the reason.
Jordan Plastics print and convert polythene packaging for the food and drinks market, and the staff were told that volumes and markets were being squeezed.
Management added that the redundancies would be over a 30-day period and the company would endeavour to relocate as many as possible. Jordan Plastics is RPC’s only operation in Ireland, although they manufacture worldwide – including Great Britain, all over Europe, North America, China, Australia and Algeria. They design and create for ‘giants’ like Nivea, Dulux and Garnier.
Upper Bann MP David Simpson met the management and work force on Wednesday and said, “It appears that the decision was unavoidable. I am satisfied that RPC are trying to ease the blow as much as possible.
“As well as the losses, environmental considerations mean that £600,000 would be required to bring the factory up to modern-day standards. There is also fierce competition in this particular sector, with RPC making similar products elsewhere.”
He added, “Redundancy packages are being negotiated. And while there is an air of despondency from people losing their jobs, both sides are being as positive as possible under the circumstances.”
Brian Taylor, Operations Director commented: “We are disappointed that we have had to announce the proposed closure of the Portadown site. The site has been loss making for three years and we see no prospect of improvements in market conditions.”
He continued: “We are committed to finding alternative jobs where possible for affected employees within or outside the RPC group.”
Jordan Plastics were set up at Loughgall Road, Portadown in 1969, and won a succession of awards for quality and innovation.
They moved to the purpose-built 40,000 square feet building at Summerisland Road, Annaghmore, in July 2006, with significant investment. But the recent losses have been described by the firm as “unsustainable.”
Some employees have worked at the firm for 35-40 years.