Intel workers braced for the worst as 400 Irish jobs may be lost
Thousands of Intel workers are bracing themselves for the worst when they return to work this week amid reports that more than 400 Irish jobs are to be lost.
Staff at the computer chip giant's Leixlip plant in Co Kildare, which employs 4,500 people, fear they will bear the brunt of compulsory and voluntary redundancies at its Irish operations. The company also has bases in Shannon and Cork.
Intel announced last week it was shedding 12,000 jobs globally due to lack of demand for its PC computer chips.
The 'Sunday Business Post' reported that 420 out of 5,500 jobs here will be axed, which the company has dismissed as "speculative".
But local councillors in Leixlip and nearby Celbridge said there was a "sense of impending doom" in both communities over the weekend as workers await more information on the job cuts this week.
"There are husbands and wives both working there a long time," said Celbridge councillor Ide Cussen.
"There is a sense of impending doom, but people didn't see it coming."
She said the fact that the company would not tell staff how many jobs were on the line until this week had made people very anxious. "The drip feed of giving people the news has been torture," she said.
And it was not just the Intel workers who would be affected but local shops, pubs and other businesses as well, she added.
Leixlip councillor Joe Neville said the impending job losses were all his constituents had been talking about, including four of his personal friends who work at Intel.
"Everybody is on tenterhooks," he said. "You can feel the tension. People just don't know what to expect."
Aside from the immediate job losses, the community fears the plant itself will eventually wind down if Intel can't keep up with rapidly evolving technologies, which would be devastating to everyone, he added.