An electronics company is to close in Dundalk with the loss of 250 jobs, it emerged tonight.
Quantum Corporation, which established its Irish operation in 1991, is to shut down the factory in the middle of next year.
The company told workers that it is outsourcing its repair operations, most likely to eastern Europe, to cut costs.
“This was a difficult decision, particularly because of the impact on our 250 employees in Dundalk who have greatly contributed to Quantum,” it said in a statement.
The decision was taken following a 30-day review of Quantum’s European operations.
The company said that all eligible employees would be given severance packages and training to find new jobs.
Quantum, which manufactures digital tape drives, announced an expansion programme two years ago which was to create an extra 120 jobs. The US company employs more than 3,000 people worldwide.
Local Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd said the latest job losses meant that 1,000 jobs had gone in the Dundalk area in the last three years.
“The Government policies are directly responsible for us becoming increasingly uncompetitive. We’ve had six years of higher than average inflation so it’s no wonder that manufacturers are leaving Ireland for lower-cost countries, both in eastern Europe and further afield,” he said.
However, he said that there had been new jobs created in Dundalk by companies such as Bank of Scotland, Irish Life and Hilton Foods, and added that a significant number of people were travelling to work in Dublin.
Local Green Party Councillor Mark Deary said that although the closure was not a surprise, it was still a blow to the area.
“There is a long history of manufacturing industry in the Dundalk area but this haemorrhage will continue if we don’t move costs away from labour and onto energy and in particular lower energy costs,” he said.
Yesterday, the American firm Hospira revealed it would be closing its factory in Co Donegal with the loss of 250 jobs to move to a cheaper site in the Caribbean.