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MJM Marine: “Large number” of redundancies as orders collapse

The management of Newry-based MJM Marine is engaging with staff after warning that redundancies “in large numbers” are inevitable as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cruise ship refurbishment and interior outfit company conveyed the information to staff on Tuesday last, explaining that all current orders, with the exception of just one, have been postponed indefinitely.  The one remaining order requires just a small number of staff and can be completed by the end of next month.

MJM employs 270 people in three offices across Europe and is one of the largest employers in the Newry area.

In an internal communication to staff, the company said: “You will appreciate that we find ourselves in unprecedented times.

“The consequence of the spread of Covid-19 and the steps that are being taken globally to arrest the spread of the virus have had a catastrophic impact upon businesses generally and I am afraid that this company is no exception.

“It is with deep regret that we have to inform you that redundancies in large numbers are unavoidable.”

The firm went on to express a wish that it can “continue to employ as many of our workforce as we can” and keep redundancies “to the lowest level”.

“This is not something we ever expected to have to do but unfortunately with the situation in the cruise sector we have been left with no alternative. Our thoughts and concerns are with all those who have been impacted by Covid-19 and with those at the front line of dealing with it.  Our priority is the continued health and safety of our people; and our clients and suppliers who are all being impacted,” the statement added.

The company was founded in 1983 by Brian McConville and specialises in new-build refurbishment, refit and fit-out services to the marine, commercial and private sectors.

Commenting on the announcement, President of Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Emma Marmion said: “I am devastated by the news from MJM Marine about entering consultation on redundancies.

“Brian and his family have been at the heart of business growth in our city. Our thoughts are with him and the many employees, sub-contractors and suppliers that work for the company.

“MJM Marine is exactly the type of business that needs government support to get businesses through this unprecedented economic crisis. Newry is a resilient business community.  We will get through this crisis but we need the skills and expertise of employees like MJM Marine’s to be available once our economy picks up again.”