Dell's Ireland plant to shed 1,900 jobs

The first Limerick employees will leave the PC maker in April and the process of switching production to Poland and to contractors will be done by January 2010.

Dell announced Thursday that it is closing its manufacturing operation in Limerick, Ireland, and shifting production to its Polish plant and to third-party contractors.

Dell's Limerick plant
Assembling a desktop PC at Dell's Limerick plant. Dell

The move will result in the loss of 1,900 jobs in a facility that employs 3,000 people.

Employees and unions in Ireland have long been expecting the decision, which is part of a $3 billion restructuring that Dell announced last year.

Dell said in a statement that the first Limerick employees would leave the company in April and the whole process of switching production will be completed by January 2010. Workers will receive a competitive severance package and career outplacement assistance from the company, the company added.

The PC maker has had a facility in Ireland for 18 years, where it has become a major force in manufacturing and the largest employer in the Limerick area. Commenting on the move Sean Corkery, vice president of operations, Dell Europe Middle East and Africa said: "This is a difficult decision, but the right one for Dell to become even more competitive, and deliver greater value to customers in the region."

According to Dell, the company's remaining employees in Ireland "will continue to co-ordinate EMEA manufacturing, logistics and supply-chain activities across a range of functions including product development, engineering, procurement and logistics." Dell will keep its Global Innovation Solutions Center and European Command Center in Limerick.

In late December, the company reorganized its management structure as it reacts to changing customer requirements. In March 2008, Dell closed a home state plant in Austin, Texas , as part of its plans to cut at least 8,800 jobs.

Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London.

 

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