Business Irish

Tuesday 24 October 2017

State on alert to help Intel's workers

Email: Intel Ireland boss Eamonn Sinnott
Email: Intel Ireland boss Eamonn Sinnott

Dearbhail McDonald and Luke Byrne

Hundreds of job losses at Intel now seem inevitable as government agencies are on standby to deal with the fall-out.

Staff are due to be briefed tomorrow about the scale of the losses at the company, which employs 4,500 people at its Irish operations, amid fears that up to 500 jobs could be lost here.

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

The Government has maintained close contact with Intel following its shock announcement on April 19 that it will shed 11pc - or about 12,000 - of its global workforce.

However, the Irish Government will not intervene with offers of supports until the company informs staff where the losses will fall.

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

As well as supporting those who will lose their jobs, agencies such as the IDA and Enterprise Ireland will focus their efforts on attracting new investment and harness opportunities for those parts of Intel's business that are not affected by the decline in demand for PCs.

Intel has invested more than €4bn in Ireland in recent years with the overhaul of two of its factories. Ireland is 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.

However, Intel's global "accelerating change and transformation" restructuring process is expected to hit all components of its businesses.

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

Voluntary and compulsory redundancies are both expected when management inform staff of the impact of restructuring on its Irish operations.

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

One worker said the job losses at Intel were being seen by staff here as part of cycle in the company's business operations.

"The company has done this before. They launch an investment and follow that with redundancies.

"Over the years they have announced redundancies which usually deal with the older technology side and there are usually plenty of people to take up those places," he said.

"This time it looks like the same process. What we are hearing is the jobs will probably be cut in the old technology areas of the business," he added.

"One issue that would be of serious concern is if they decided to cut jobs in the new technology areas or if there were compulsory redundancies."

Irish Independent

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