Saturday 22 July 2017

Happy ending for 120 staff with takeover of book shops

Louise Hogan, Ralph Riegel and Brian Hutton

BOOKSELLER Eason delivered a happy ending for more than 120 workers as it signed up to take over the lucrative book shops at Dublin and Cork airports.

And there was further good news on the jobs front as two technology firms also announced the creation of 70 posts.

Workers at Hughes & Hughes outlets at Dublin and Cork airports had feared their jobs may be in jeopardy after the chain entered receivership last week.

Eason yesterday confirmed it would be taking over the operation of the five units at Dublin Airport and two further units at Cork Airport, recognised as the most lucrative part of the former Hughes & Hughes business. It means that about 120 jobs under threat since the chain entered receivership have been saved.

Conor Whelan, managing director of Eason & Son, which has a turnover of more than €200m and employs more than 1,500 people, described the stores as "prestigious retail locations" in spite of the economic climate.

Hughes & Hughes had pinpointed factors such as rent costs, a fall in passenger numbers, currency exchange rates and a surge in online retailing as a factor in its demise.

Meanwhile, computer giant Hewlett Packard (HP) confirmed the creation of 60 jobs at its customer support centre in Dublin, while PAS Technology will employ 10 new staff at its Cork turbine service centre thanks to a major new contract and an R&D investment.

HP said that the 60 new positions would be based at its Belfield offices in Clonskeagh.

The expansion is part of a "consolidation" of European operations servicing northern Europe and the Benelux countries.

HP managing director Martin Murphy said the firm was encouraged by improving "wage and salary competitiveness" in Ireland.

Critical

"However, we are relentless in our continuing message that we are at a critical turning point in this country and that there is still significant scope for improvement to national competitiveness so that we can continue to grow in this market and to protect multinational industry that has located here," he said.

Mr Murphy added the calibre of Irish graduates who had the necessary humanities and technical skills to fill the types of roles created was also key to the expansion.

HP already employs 4,000 people in Dublin, Leixlip, Co Kildare, Galway and Belfast.

In Cork, PAS Technology confirmed the creation of 10 jobs at its Carrigtwohill operation, but stressed that a major new contract and R&D technology investment would also copper-fasten the future of 86 existing jobs.

PAS yesterday confirmed the signing of a €7m contract with Siemens of Sweden for the repair and refurbishment of gas turbine engines.

PAS is a specialist repair and refurbishment operation dealing in land-based turbines for the energy industry.

Irish Independent

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