Thursday 23 November 2017

Dash to save jobs as IT giant planning 9,000 cuts

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

HEWLETT Packard has not ruled out redundancies in the Republic after announcing a massive global jobs cull.

But sources said it was unlikely that any of the 4,000-strong workforce in Dublin, Leixlip, Galway and Belfast would be affected when it sheds 9,000 jobs.

All of the jobs being cut are located at commercial data centres that operate IT services for businesses, which the world's largest personal-computer maker plans to fully automate in an €815m investment.

But HP does not have commercial data centres in the Republic, which are based mainly in the US.

Fears were raised for jobs yesterday just weeks after it was revealed that HP was outsourcing 140 staff at its Leixlip manufacturing plant.

Its Irish manufacturing division is headed by a senior member of a new government job creation taskforce, Lionel Alexander, who is also President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland.

He was recently appointed by Enterprise Minister Batt O'Keeffe to a high-level implementation committee for the Government's Innovation Taskforce, which aims to create 117,000 jobs by 2020.

Last night, his department said it would seek guarantees that the HP workforce is protected.

"The minister has asked IDA Ireland to engage with HP in the context of securing the jobs at the company's plants here," a spokesperson said.

In a statement yesterday, HP confirmed it expected to "eliminate" roughly 9,000 jobs over a "multi-year period" but said it would not give "country-specific information" at this stage.

"As a result of productivity gains and automation, HP expects to eliminate roughly 9,000 positions over a multiyear period to reinvest for further growth and to increase shareholder value," it said.


"Once completed, this transformation is expected to generate annualised gross savings of $1bn (€814m) and net savings after reinvestment in a range of about $700m (€570m)."

Workers at HP's inkjet manufacturing division in Leixlip learnt last month they were being transferred to Galway-based electronics company, Celestica, within weeks. Under employment laws, there should be no immediate change to their terms and conditions of employment, but they feared this could change over time.

HP announced a net profit of €1.7bn in its last quarterly results, up from €1.3bn the previous year.

Among its Irish operations are sales and services divisions in Belfast and Leixlip, a research and development centre in Galway, and inkjet manufacturing in Leixlip.

Irish Independent

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