A cigar-manufacturing plant in Co Roscommon, Ireland will close in May and move its operations to Sri Lanka with a loss of 38 jobs for the town of Ballaghaderreen in Co Ros common, The Irish Times reported on Friday. It was reported that the company is moving its operations to an existing plant in Sri Lanka in order to rationalize the business and save on wage costs. Exclusive Cigar Manufacturers Ireland (ECMI) opened in 1978 under the name Villager and has been a large local employer since.
The business was sold to a large Belgian tobacco company called J Cortès in January of this year. A statement on the J Cortès website published on January 18th says: “ECMI has shown considerable volume growth and will benefit from the expertise and size of J. Cortès.” However, in a press release issued on Thursday, the company said it was beginning a consultation process with employee representatives before issuing redundancy notifications on May 15. “The purpose of the consultation process is to explore any alternatives to the proposed closure of the factory potentially resulting in a redundancy of all 38 employees of ECMI Ltd,” the statement said.