Job losses as Target Express close Cookstown depot
WEEKS after the closure of their Cookstown depot, haulage company Target Express has ceased trading.
It is believed that workers at the company’s Derryloran base were laid off some threee weeks ago.
However,on Wednesday last, the announcement was made that Target Express was to close down all operations after southern Revenue Commissioners refused to strike a deal on its tax bill.
The company has depots in both Northern Ireland and the south, with reports that some 50 of the jobs going are in the Tyrone area.
Target Express is reported to be the largest private haulage company in the Republic of Ireland.
They have also been sponsors of Tyrone senior team for the past few seasons, a deal which was to expire this year.
A former employee said he was shocked by the news that the company was to cease trading.
“They were a good company to work for but I’m aware that some of their staff weren’t even informed of the closure, and were relying whatever information they could get in the Press.
“This a real blow for all the employees and a few local companies who sub-contratced from Target Express.”
Chairman of the Stormont Enterprise Committee, Alban Maginness, said on Tuesday night that the southern Revenue Commissioners had chosen to cost itself money in the long run.
“It will be a short-term gain with long-term damage to the economy,” he said.
“They will get their money but they will not get the revenue from Target Express employees over the next number of years. It is very short-sighted. A lot of people will now be out of work, particularly in Tyrone. I have to question why the Revenue Commissioners weren’t willing to negotiate a settlement to keep the firm running.”
Mr Maginness said that the authorities on both sides of the border can be very demanding regarding tax bills.
Employees were last night reported to be staging a sit-in after the company ceased trading.
Former worker Tom Cullen said more than 15 staff are stopping freight leaving the firm’s depot in Little Island, Cork.
He said employees — who are owed two weeks’ pay — are angry at the lack of information from the company and Revenue, and raised concerns over claims managing director Seamus McBrien contacted three Irish cabinet members who did not intervene.
“We were told this morning from the HR department a receiver will be coming down to sort out our P45,” said Mr Cullen. “We don’t want a receiver in here.”
Mr McBrien claimed his company accounts were frozen on Thursday over a debt of less than half a million euro. A Revenue Commissioners spokeswoman said it cannot comment on individual cases.
Sinn Fein Fermanagh/South Tyrone MLA, Sean Lynch, said he was shocked.
“This is a major blow to the local economy as the company has depots in Lisnaskea and Clones, and my thoughts are with the workers and their families at this time,” he said.
He said the loss of 50 plus jobs locally is another blow to an area which has lost a lot of jobs over the years and is still trying to recover “from years of neglect” by governments.
He added: “The job losses may well have a greater impact as ancillary jobs could be in danger.”
The MLA said his offices in Lisnaskea and Enniskillen would support those affected.
“Many of these people will have mortgages and direct debits affected and I would ask the local banks in particular to be sympathetic to their plight,” he added.
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Weather for Dungannon
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 16 C
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Temperature: 11 C to 17 C
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