INTERNATIONAL medical devices company Abbott said yesterday it would offer "favourable" redundancy terms to 200 staff at its main Irish manufacturing plant.
Management at the firm's operation in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, informed staff yesterday evening that it was seeking voluntary redundancies.
The news has been greeted with disappointment by local politicians as well as Jobs Minister Richard Bruton who said it was a "really tough day" for the workers.
A spokesperson for the firm told the Irish Independent that the jobs were all based in manufacturing and manufacturing support.
She said the company would try to find redeployment opportunities for the staff in other areas and added that staff would be encouraged to apply for other jobs in the firm.
However, she could not provide a figure for the number of positions that would be available through redeployment.
In a statement, the company said that the redundancies were necessary "to meet the evolving needs of the business".
It said the firm needed to remain competitive in a "challenging" global environment.
A few dozen contractor positions will not be renewed when their contracts expire at the end of March.
"We regret the impact on our employees in Clonmel and the wider community, and our focus is on supporting our impacted employees," it said.
Abbott's facility in Clonmel currently employs more than 1,400 and the company has insisted that it is committed to its Irish operations.
It said that capital investment would be made at the site this year to enable it to manufacture more advanced medical devices for the treatment of coronary heart disease.
South Ireland MEP Phil Prendergast said it was "very distressing news for the workforce, and their families".