TWO TDs in Laois have expressed relief that the 200-odd jobs are secure at An Post’s Mail Centre in Portlaoise.
Following the announcement last week that a similar facility in Cork will close on a phased basis, both Seán Fleming (FF) and Brian Stanley (SF) said the decision to keep the Portlaoise centre was welcome news for all.
One of the four centres in Ireland was due for closure – the others are situated in Athlone, Dublin and Cork. However, two weeks before the decision was taken at a board meeting of An Post, the Laois Nationalist broke the news that Portlaoise had escaped closure.
The reason for closing one of the centres was a reduction in letter processing capacity in line with global industry trends.
Deputy Fleming said: “I am pleased for all the employees in An Post and their families with the good news that the jobs in Portlaoise are safe. There has been a great sigh of relief all around.
“There has been a cloud hanging over the mail centre for a couple of years. I want to thank the Communication Workers Union in the mail centre and all the mail centre employees who have contacted me on several occasions. I dealt with the chief executive of An Post directly at various times on behalf of the mail centre in Portlaoise, including as recently as last month.
“I know the staff in the mail centre and An Post will join me in acknowledging the difficult situation of their colleagues in Cork.”
Deputy Stanley said: “This is good news for the county. The jobs there are vital for the local economy.
“Portlaoise is strategically located on the N7/N8 and N80 road network. The Portlaoise centre is also just a few hundred metres from a rail connection. The construction of the final section of the Portlaoise Orbital Route, which is due to be completed in a few months, means that the N80 will now pass the front gate of the mail centre. I have highlighted this advantage to An Post CEO David McRedmond since he took over the position.
“An Post now needs to take advantage of this and the proximity of the Togher Business Park to further develop business at the Portlaoise facility.”