THE first tranche of layoffs at the Dell plant kick in this week.
On Thursday, 450 of the workers destined to lose their jobs clock out for the last time at the Raheen plant.
The remainder of the 1,900 production staff, along with 100 in the back-up services area, will be made redundant over the coming eight months.
Workers at the plant have asked the Labour Court to hear their case for improved redundancy.
Dell is offering four weeks, along with two weeks statutory, for every year of service, with a 104-week cap.
Denis Ryan, who has led the fight for an improved redundancy package, said the amount offered by the company “undervalued” the effort workers put into the success of the Limerick plant.
Mr Ryan said: “Dell workers were always very flexible in agreeing to various shift patterns which meant working very unsocial hours. It is a sad week now as we see the first big group of workers lose their jobs. As they will be working various shifts, it will not be a situation of a huge number walking out the gate together. They will just fizzle out when they finish their various shifts on Thursday.
“It’s a day we are all facing over coming months.”
Mr Ryan, 53, who has worked at Dell for almost 10 years, said his redundancy package will come to around €30,000.
He said: “I have gone through three recessions and lost my job at Krups years ago before I got work in Dell. I expect to go around October and I will just have to go back to basics. When I lost work before, I turned to bar work, the buildings and did a bit of painting.”
However, with the depth of the current crisis, he said he did not really have a clear plan on what he will do when his job at Dell ends.
It is expected up to 8,000 other workers in the mid-west will lose their jobs due to the Dell closure.
Dell boss Sean Corkery, overseeing the shutdown at Raheen, is set to take over the company’s Asian plant next month.
And his new role may involve overseeing the sale or closure of Dell facilities in Malaysia, India and China.
He will continue to oversee Dell’s computer manufacturing in Europe and this will include the facility in Lodz, Poland, which will take over manufacturing done previously in Limerick.
Earlier this month Dell lost its number one spot in the Irish personal computer market.
First-quarter figures from market research firm, IDC reveal that Hewlett-Packard is now the biggest selling brand of personal computers in Ireland.
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