Speaking as First Minister Arlene Foster unveiled a new manufacturing hall, part of a £2.5m investment, the Austrian firm’s chief executive said that the Brexit vote was not good news for the company.
“Overall, it has a very negative impact for us,” he said. “We are exposed to the euro and the dollar because we import into the UK and our imports have become more expensive. We are in the process of preparing contingency plans as we speak. But we will not be leaving Dungannon.”
“We are in a state of shock and maybe in one or two weeks we will have some stability. We do need a Government to be back in power in some shape or form. Someone needs to start making decisions.”
While suggesting that the problems caused by Brexit might not ultimately prove to be insurmountable, Zasadzinski quipped that Vote Leave campaign leader and potential UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson could help him out.
“We are a net importer selling into mainland UK and we are really seeing this have an impact,” he added. “I’d like to write to Boris Johnson to ask him for a cheque to cover increased costs.”
Zasadzinski, who is Polish, has worked and lived in Northern Ireland for 11 years with his wife, but he is now moving to become vice-president of the overseas division of Greiner Packaging International in Austria. He stressed the move was down to personal reasons and was not a reflection of how he felt about Northern Ireland.
“We both absolutely love Northern Irish and Irish people,” he insisted. “People are and have been the best asset of the community while we’ve been here.”
First Minister Arlene Foster was full of praise for Zasadzinski saying: “I pay special tribute to outgoing CEO Jarek Zasadzinski for the contribution he has made to Greiner Packaging since 2005. Jarek is without doubt a wonderful ambassador not just for Dungannon but for manufacturing in Northern Ireland as a whole.”
Zasadzinski will be replaced by former Huhtamaki general manager Philip Woolsey.
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