Now THIS one will surely bring a quiet smile of satisfaction to every Health Nazi out there. I refer of course to the news that …
Cigarette maker JTI Gallaher is to shut its factory in County Antrim with the loss of about 800 jobs. Workers at the Ballymena plant were informed by management on Tuesday. North Antrim MP Ian Paisley Jr said the redundancies would begin in May 2016. He said the announcement “effectively starts a 90-day consultation with workers, not only in Ballymena but across JTI’s European footprint, to cease production”. “Each year almost £60m is pumped into the local wage economy by JTI – from 2017 that will be over,” he said.
Never mind – it’s for their own good that they are made unemployed – right? I don’t smoke, never have. I loath the smell of tobacco and am sure it cannot be a healthy activity. THAT SAID, I defend the right of those who do smoke (and their are still plenty) to do so, and for those such as Gallaher’s to produce product for them. But the onslaught against tobacco companies in places like the UK and Ireland is fierce and so it is inevitable that these sort of decisions happen. It will be small comfort to the 800 affected by this devastating news.
Of course one COULD go on and ask precisely what the MP for this area has been doing to obviate this decision? Ian Paisley Jnr is well aware that this has been on the cards for a while – questions must be asked what HE, and the entire circus at Stormont, have done about it?