Upwards of 500 people are to lose their jobs at the Hewlett Packard (HP) global print plant in Leixlip, Co Kildare, within the next 12 months.
The company described the losses as a cost-saving measure and that it was seeking to invest in new market opportunities, such as 3D printing.
“In line with our previously communicated strategy, HP’s global print business is working to drive continuous efficiencies and cost savings that enable investment in new market opportunities and growth initiatives, such as 3D printing.
“As a result, we have made the decision to close our global print business at the Leixlip site. It is likely that close to 500 HP employees will be impacted and leave the business over the next 12 months,” a spokesperson for the firm said yesterday.
An employer to hundreds of people in the North Kildare and West Dublin area since 1995, the company acknowledged the impact its decision would have on employees.
The spokesperson said the move was not a reflection on the performance of their staff.
“This decision is not a reflection on our Ireland employees or on the site’s performance.
“We are very aware of the impact this decision will have on our employees in Ireland and we are focusing all of our efforts on supporting them, on identifying opportunities for them and on providing a programme to help them prepare for the transition ahead,” the HP spokesperson yesterday said.
Despite the closure of the global print business at the Leixlip site, HP will maintain the sale operations for their printing and personal systems business here, with approximately 2,100 people employed in locations such as Galway and Cork.
Aside from opening of the HP technology campus in Leixlip in 1995, its first sales office was opened in Ireland in 1976.
Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) was working to sell the Leixlip plant as a going concern.
“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 Leixlip 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.
Furthermore, Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed to the Dáil that IDA staff did travel to California, but not the jobs minister, for discussions with the company. He had spoken by phone with the company’s senior managers last week.
The Taoiseach also said he believed the multi-use facility could be sold.
“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.”
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