THE decision by the American tech giant Intel to cut its 100,000 strong workforce worldwide by 12,000 is a worrying sign for the future of multinationals in Ireland.
While it is too early to say whether or not its operations in Ireland will be affected by the cuts, it nonetheless reveals the mindset of the people who run these huge companies. They are driven solely by profit and anything — or anyone — getting in the way of that will undoubtedly suffer.
The company employs around 5,500 people in Ireland. In the region of 4,500 of those are at its manufacturing campus in Leixlip and the remainder are spread across its security business in Cork and its research and development labs in Shannon.
Ireland is the European hub for more than 1,000 multinational companies. Among the giants of technology, social media, pharmaceuticals, and finance that have made Ireland the hub of their European operations are Google, HP, Apple, IBM, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Pfizer.
That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that because the contribution of multinational companies to the Irish economy is so immense, it makes us uniquely vulnerable to global trends.
The same effort at attracting foreign direct investment should now go towards helping indigenous industry.
After all, unlike foreign investors, they are here to stay.
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