Limerick (Ireland) – Dell announced today that it will cut its Limerick, Ireland workforce from 4,300 by 1,900 between April, 2009 and January, 2010, moving to Lodz, Poland instead. Dublin staffing will not change. The move is being met with great anger by affected employees. Said one of them, “[the VP of Limerick operations] is being savaged – and rightly so.”
Dell is Ireland’s second largest employer and solely responsible for 5% of the country’s gross domestic product. Economists report that figure translates to a nation-wide connection of four to five jobs relying on every one of Dell’s employees. Dell will keep 1,100 jobs in Limerick and 1,300 in Dublin.
Dell will be offering its employees a severance package of one year’s pay for those with at least eight year’s service – amounting to approximately US$33,000. Assembly line workers are the hardest hit division by the layoffs.
Sean Corkery, VP of operations at Dell’s major facility in Limerick (southwest Ireland), said, “This is a difficult decision, but the right one for Dell to become even more competitive, and deliver greater value to customers.” Corkery did pledge to “treat affected employees with dignity and respect and offer them every practical support.”
The affected employees have expressed considerable anger over this plan. Said one seven-year Dell assembly line employee, Mike Killeen, 36, “The anger inside there is unbelievable. [Cokerey] was savaged inside – and rightly so. This is not about a company that’s in trouble. This is about greed, corporate greed. They’re going to Poland because apparently they can make an extra 3 percent.”
Unemployment in Ireland has been hovering near 8%. Dell has already laid off hundreds of Limerick employees over the past two years, sending their jobs to Poland where new Polish staff have been slowly replacing them.
Mary Coughlan, Irelands Deputy Prime Minister who last year lobbied Michael Dell directly to keep Ireland staff, said the government has been braced for heavy losses.