Update 3pm: The general manager of HP Inc’s Leixlip plant, Maurice O’Connell, has said some of the 500 people set to lose their jobs may be offered redeployment elsewhere in the company’s Irish assets.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a separate company to HP Inc, continues to employ 2,100 staff at its enterprise business in Leixlip, Galway and Cork, along with workers in its sales offices.
"There is an interest in redeploying people to other sites along with the work," he said.
"The organisation here in Leixlip has made a great contribution to the business and there is an interest in trying to redeploy people."
He indicated it was too early to say how many might be offered redeployment, though he confirmed most of the positions would be eliminated.
"This decision (to close the Leixlip print plant) is driven by the HP global print strategy to drive efficiencies and savings," he said.
The first jobs will go in July. Mr O’Connell said "enhanced" redundancy packages would be on offer.
Mr O’Connell said employees were disappointed and saddened by the news; some of them had up to 22 years service. "It’s a sad day for employees," he said.
Update 12.42pm: Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor has refused to commit to meet with the 500 HP Inc workers who have lost their jobs, writes Elaine Loughlin, Political Reporter.
The tech giant has this morning announced that they will be closing their global print plant in Leixlip, Co Kildare plant over the next 12 months.
Ms Mitchell O’Connor said the IDA would now be working hard to sell the plant as a going concern.
However, she refused to say whether she will meet with those who have been made redundant.
"I’d say the workers now want me to do my job, they want the IDA to do their job and to make sure that we are selling Lexlip and Kildare all over the world this evening and throughout the rest of the year to make sure that we win investment into Ireland," Ms Mitchell O’Connor said.
"I will make that call very soon, but I have to say, I know the workers it’s not platitudes they want it’s jobs.”
The inkjet plant is set to close by February next year while Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a separate company to HP Inc, continues to employ 2,100 staff at its Enterprise business in Leixlip, Galway and Cork, along with workers in its sales offices.
Asked what measures she had personally taken to try and save the jobs at the HP Inc plant Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: "I have obviously been working with Enterprise Ireland very much and we have had a budget.
“So my job as a Minister is to ensure that Enterprise Ireland and the IDA have the budget to go out there and to win investment into our country and also to scale up our own indigenous companies."
But speaking in the Dáil just minutes later Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed that the Jobs Minister had spoken to senior staff at HP in recent days.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny says the Government’s concerns and priorities are with the staff of HP Inc and their families today.
Around 500 jobs are set to be lost the print business of HP Inc in Leixlip, which is to close over the next 12 months, management announced this morning.
Enda Kenny’s confirmed to the Dáil that while the IDA did travel to California for discussions with the company, and Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor did not, and spoke to ’senior managers’ on the phone last week.
He said the Government focus will be to trying to find a buyer for the facility.
“This is a brilliant location, it is a fabulous building, it has multi uses,” he said.
“It could be sold, indeed, as a going concern, and the IDA and the Minister’s efforts now will be to provide an alternative in what is a superb location.”
Minister Mitchell O’ Connor has said that “all the supports of the State will be made available” to workers.
“Firstly, my thoughts are with the employees of HP Inc and their families as they receive this difficult news today,” said the Minister.
“There is no doubt that this is a significant blow to the employees, their families and to the region.
“My officials and I, together with the IDA, have had extensive discussions with the company in an effort to avert these job losses. I note with regret that the redundancies are arising on account of the company’s global efficiency strategy to accelerate their business transformation.
“The transfer of work will be phased over 2017 with planned completion by February 2018.
“HP remains committed to Ireland and they intend to have a continued sales operations presence in Ireland. Today’s announcement also has no bearing whatsoever on the workers and operations of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a completely separate company that employs over 2,100 people in Leixlip, Galway and Cork.
“It is important for the workers to know that I have asked that all the supports of the state will be made available to any workers affected by this decision. I have spoken with my colleague Leo Varadkar, Minister for Social Protection, and he has confirmed that officials in his Department are being deployed to brief staff on State supports and re-training options.
“I am in daily contact with the IDA and I have asked the Agency to continue with their efforts to ensure jobs are delivered to the region. IDA will continue to work with the company in the time ahead to help secure a buyer for the Leixlip site. Securing investment for Kildare and the surrounding region is a continuing priority.
“We have had significant jobs announcement and jobs growth in recent months with jobs announcements right across the country, however, today’s news is, sadly, a reminder that we must not be complacent.
“We have to work hard to ensure we remain competitive and continue to encourage companies into Ireland as well as supporting our home grown businesses.”