Tuesday 19 November 2019

Medical devices firm to axe 142 jobs as plants merge

Ralph Riegel

A US medical devices firm is to axe 142 jobs as part of a restructuring of its Irish operations.

Stryker Corporation -- which makes healthcare devices including medical instruments and joint implants -- confirmed the cuts after a staff meeting yesterday afternoon.

The job losses will be spread between the company's two Cork-based plants, which will merge. It is the second jobs blow in a week to hit the area, after confirmation that pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly is to seek 70 job losses at its Kinsale facility.

Stryker last night said that while 142 jobs will be shed because of the restructuring of its Carrigtwohill plants in east Cork, it plans to create 60 jobs by 2015 as part of an expansion of its Irish endoscopy division.

Despite the cuts, the US firm -- which ranks as one of the world's largest medical product manufacturers -- insisted it retains its "long-term commitment to Ireland". It added: "These changes will be implemented over a four-year period and will help to position Stryker's manufacturing operations as a centre of excellence in research and development (R&D), medical and surgical instruments and equipment manufacturing and neurovascular technologies." The two east Cork plants will merge from June 2012, after which some product manufacturing will be transferred outside of Ireland.

Stryker said the affected workers will be given the opportunity to "re-skill and transfer to other suitable positions within the Stryker network in Ireland".

The firm employs more than 2,000 people in Cork and Limerick.

Stryker dramatically boosted its Irish presence earlier this year, when it confirmed the takeover of Boston Scientific's strategic neurovascular division, which included a major Cork healthcare devices plant.

Innovation Minister and Cork TD Sean Sherlock said the job losses were "very bad news for Carrigtwohill and the surrounding area".

But he added: "I welcome the fact that the company is to retain a significant presence in the area. I am assured that it will be making every effort to support employees including identifying other opportunities within the organisation, offering a redundancy package as well as assistance in the form of training and re-skilling."

Irish Independent

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