INTEL Ireland has confirmed it will cut between 200 and 300 jobs at its Kildare plant by June, just three weeks after the company's chairman said there was no immediate danger of staff losses here.
The company announced last month that it would close a number of factories around the world, reducing its workforce to 6,000.
However, 1,000 additional job losses worldwide were signalled at that time. Yesterday, Intel told employees at Leixlip that up to 300 of those job cuts are to come from the Irish operation. It is understood the redundancies will be voluntary.
The news was a serious blow to staff at the plant, coming so soon after Intel Chairman Craig Barrett said there was no imminent threat to Irish jobs.
The company said it would not be closing the Irish operation. Mr Barret said Intel could be competitive in a high-cost environment, such as Ireland or the US, as the company is more sensitive to capital costs than labour costs.
Fine Gael labour affairs spokesman Damien English said the announcement was "a devastating blow to the Leixlip staff and their families, and to the country as a whole".
Mr English urged the Tanaiste to act immediately to establish high-level contact with Intel's international and local management.
He said: "The lesson learned from Dell is that the Government waited too long to take action, resulting in the loss of all 1,900 jobs. We cannot allow a similar situation to develop."
Meanwhile, about 40 employees at the Setanta House Hotel in Celbridge lost their jobs after it closed indefinitely. A spokesman at the hotel stressed that it had not gone into examinership or liquidation.
Also yesterday, SIPTU welcomed the support of Labour affairs Minister Billy Kelleher for Swissco workers and for the company to honour a Labour Court recommendation on redundancy pay. The Court has recommended that the 154 employees receive an additional two weeks pay per year of service on top of their statutory entitlements.
Swissco Workers have been staging protests outside their former employer's at Little Island, Co Cork, after it closed without paying arrears of wages, including holiday pay, minimum notice and the redundancy award.