Effect of lay-offs almost incalculable, says TD

THE knock-on effect of the Dell lay-offs, in terms of unemployment and economic fallout, could be almost incalculable, according to Labour TD for Limerick East, Jan O’Sullivan.

“When the knock-on impact on supplier companies is taken into account, the total job losses will run to many thousand and the economic cost through loss of spending power is almost incalculable. This is a black day for Limerick.

“However, Limerick has recovered from economic blows in the past and I have no doubt that, with the political will and the appropriate supports, we can recover from these losses also,” she said.

Fine Gael TD and deputy finance spokesman, Kieran O’Donnell, said workers needed every support available.

“Dell has already taken the welcome step of offering to retrain the workers being made redundant, but this must be backed up by the Government,” said Mr O’Donnell.

The task force will be made up of senior government officials backed by experts from the University of Limerick, local institute of technology, Enterprise Ireland, training agency FÁS and other state agencies.

Defence Minister Willie O’Dea said the announcement dealt “a huge blow to the workers, their families and the region”.

“The enormity of what has been announced this morning will take days and weeks to sink in, as it will directly hurt and affect thousands,” he said.

Limerick was still a key region for knowledge-based industries and its location was key for investment, said Mr O’Dea.

“The retention of 750 highly skilled jobs means Dell will remain a significant force in Limerick and the midwest. This provides a very strong basis for Dell to return to being one of our largest employers in the region in much the same way as Apple has done in Cork.”

Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray said Dell had been very important in the Limerick economy.

“We must remember this news not only affects those employed at the company but also our entire community. Bad news on this scale makes more evident what is always true — we are not isolated individuals. What affects anybody affects all of us. It is time for the community to stand together and act in solidarity.”

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