Thursday 22 February 2018

Intel staff to learn fate 'in 72 hours' as job losses still looming

Intel Ireland manager Eamonn Sinnott. Photo: Damien Eagers
Intel Ireland manager Eamonn Sinnott. Photo: Damien Eagers

Luke Byrne and Adrian Weckler

Some 5,200 workers at Intel's Irish manufacturing facilities remain in the dark about the future of their jobs, two weeks after the multinational chip company announced 12,000 global layoffs.

Staff at the Leixlip plant, where 4,500 are employed, had expected an announcement about specific redundancies last night, with senior management previously indicating lay-off news at that time.

But workers say that they have received no information as bosses at the facility finalise the job cuts. However, Intel management have committed to telling individual staff within 72 hours of today.

It is now thought that Intel may not issue a statement about its overall job cuts in Ireland, as it has already done in several US states. Instead, staff to be affected are set be told on a case-by-case basis.

Sources close to the company have speculated that many of the imminent redundancies will be offered on a voluntary basis.

"The company has done this before and previous packages have included six weeks' pay for each year worked," a source said. "I think there will be a lot of people interested in any offer."

A spokesman for the Government declined to comment on the number of projected job losses.

"Intel's processes have to be respected, it will still remain a key employer even after the projected job losses," he said.

By law, Intel must communicate with the government about potential job losses within 30 days of cuts taking effect.

In an email to staff last week, Intel's Ireland manager Eamonn Sinnott said that employees would be notified "within 72 hours of 4 May" if they were to lose their jobs.

Those facing redundancy will be offered a range of supports from the Government including access to social welfare, retraining and advice on employment law in the event of any post-redundancy disputes.

Intel has invested more than €4bn in Ireland in recent years with the overhaul of two of its factories. Ireland is considered to be less exposed than some of Intel's other global operations as its main plants here are producing chips used for high-end servers and data centres as opposed to PCs. It has already announced more than 2,000 cuts in its US plants. However, the company is also believed to produce mobile Atom chips, which are set to be discontinued.

"What we are hearing is the jobs will probably be cut in the old technology areas of the business," one worker said.

As well as 4,500 employees directly employed in Ireland, Intel also has some 700 long-term contract workers, most working out of Leixlip, Co Kildare.

Irish Independent

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