Tech firm to open base here after cutting jobs in the North
A TECHNOLOGY firm that is to open a new base here put 420 of its Northern Ireland staff on protective notice earlier this week.
HCL Technologies said yesterday that there was no connection between the plan to set up in Kilkenny creating 220 jobs and the announcement of job losses at call centres in Belfast and Armagh.
The firm said it hoped to keep 170 of the 420 jobs in the North.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan revealed on Wednesday that the 220 new hi-tech jobs were to be created in his Kilkenny constituency before the deal between the IDA and the global firm was official.
The statement led to politicians in the North complaining yesterday that the posts lost to Armagh were being "replaced job-for-job in Kilkenny".
But a spokesman for HCL Technologies insisted there was no link between the jobs being lost in Northern Ireland and created in Kilkenny.
"The proposed investment by HCL Technologies in Kilkenny is not connected to the business operated by HCL-BPO (Northern Ireland) Ltd and there is no question of jobs being created there instead of in Northern Ireland," he said.
The spokesman added that the job losses in the North were as a result of local business conditions "which were outside the company's control".
Mr Hogan announced that new jobs were being created in his local newspaper before the IDA or the firm had officially signed off on the deal.
He said that the company would create 120 new jobs immediately, and this would increase to 220 over two years at Danville Business Park.
Last night Mr Hogan told the Irish Independent that the jobs were "genuine" -- and he hoped people in his Carlow-Kilkenny constituency would gain employment there.