Sunday 25 September 2016

Intel workers cannot be left pondering their fate

Published 29/04/2016 | 02:30

Intel. Photo: Bloomberg
Intel. Photo: Bloomberg

As if discovering that their jobs are under threat wasn't bad enough, thousands of Intel workers in Kildare, Clare and Cork must now wait until next week before learning their fate.

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Not until after the Bank Holiday weekend, next Tuesday or Wednesday, will staff be told about the numbers of people expected to be let go across the company's sites, what areas of the business will be affected and what the terms of any redundancy package will be.

This is simply not good enough. Workers deserve to be told their fate, and not be forced to spend days worrying about whether they have to find a new job.

Intel's decision to shed 12,000 jobs worldwide was not made in haste. The computer chip maker last week said the cuts would include "voluntary and involuntary departures" from its operations, aimed at generating annual savings of some $1.4bn (€1.2bn) a year. But it has refused to give 'site-specific' information.

This is some way removed from best practice.

Management must know the locations affected and types of jobs they no longer profess to need. Leaving those in the firing line on tenterhooks shows little regard for the very real human impact that will ensue once the job losses are announced. Not only will workers be affected, but so will their partners and children, not to mention local businesses.

Whatever about the fledgling economic recovery, some will find it difficult to secure alternative employment, not least because so many people with similar skill sets will enter the jobs market at the same time.

Intel has conducted operations in Ireland for 30 years, and employs more than 5,000. As one of the country's biggest multinational employers, it has invested billions of euro and through payment of its corporation taxes helped us in the darkest hours of the recession.

But that doesn't negate the need to treat workers fairly and with compassion. Those affected must be told.

Irish Independent

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