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Hopeful signs as furloughed Quinn staff back to work

HUNDREDS of workers at Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) are now back at work after previously being furloughed, the Herald can reveal.

Around 600 workers were laid off temporarily at the company, which is the largest private sector employer in the county, and placed on the Government’s Job Retention Scheme at the end of March. Now, 330 of those staff have returned to work in some form.

In a statement released to the Herald this week, a QIH spokesman said the company was “cautiously optimistic” about the future, with almost 70 percent of staff now either attending at work or working remotely, with more than half of those furloughed now back either full time or in a partial capacity.

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A further 230 staff had continued to work throughout the past weeks, including employees of Quinn Packaging, a supplier to essential food and retail, as well as QIH management and administrative staff capable of working remotely.

CEO of QIH, Liam McCaffrey, pictured, said: “We are very pleased to see some uptick in activity and we are cautiously optimistic about a gradual recovery. However, the prospects of a sustained recovery will ultimately depend on progress in the fight against Covid 19 and the pace of economic recovery, and it is simply too early to predict at this time.

“In the interim, we are grateful to staff and the broader community for the conscientious way in which they are observing physical distancing and health guidance whilst continuing to support business and community needs.”

Local Cllr Chris McCaffrey said it was “obviously good news” to hear so many workers were back in employment, adding safety was paramount.

“QIH is obviously an important employer in the area,” he said. “We hope we can all come out of this safely, but the message is still to stay home if possible. We’re still fighting this virus.”

Meanwhile, there is further good news for the community in Derrylin, with another local company also beginning operations again.

“McCaffrey’s Quarry is also back to work, as of Monday,” said Cllr McCaffrey. “They’ve opened and they have people on site, but obviously they are practising social distancing.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA