Up to 360 workers at the Indonesian-owned Comerama yarn company are facing a bleak Christmas and uncertain future after managers announced the closure of two factories.

Around 160 employees at the firm’s textile mill in Kilkenny will stop work at the end of next week while 200 colleagues at a sister plant in Donegal will be laid off from this Sunday.

Workers at both plants have been told there are no guarantees either will reopen in 2003 as its owners Indorama Inc is currently carrying out a review of worldwide operations.

Mill staff have been working a one-day week for the past two months with others having been on a three day week since June.

Comerama makes Trevira wool and Lycra yarns used in trousers, suits and skirts, and a worldwide slump in demand has left stocks at the plant near an all-time high.

Reports say workers have been told that production costs in Ireland for yarn and wool are six times higher than in India and Pakistan, where the bulk of the parent company’s operations are located.