HP Inc says Irish cuts are not about Trump, as jobs go to US and Asia

8 Feb 2017

The 500 job losses will have a major impact on Leixlip and the greater Dublin region. Image: Claudio Divizia/Shutterstock

Senior management at HP Inc denied that the 500 job cuts at its Leixlip operation had anything to do with the Trump administration, as the new jobs move to America and Asia.

Leixlip awoke this morning to the devastating news that after 22 years of manufacturing in Ireland, HP is to close its inkjet facilities with the loss of 500 jobs.

Senior managers at HP Inc in Ireland said that the 500 jobs being cut in Leixlip will be moved to the United States and Singapore, and that Irish managers will have the option of taking up new roles in these locations.

‘It is not related to any change in the US administration’

“Our print strategy is to drive efficiencies and cost savings in our business and pursue opportunities for growth in areas like 3D printing and digital transformation,” said Santi Morera, global head of home printing solutions at HP.

“We are working on a plan to consolidate our print manufacturing at a larger site. Ireland had been competing well in the past, but the engineering and development efficiencies we need, we believe we can achieve in bigger sites in Asia and the US.”

It is understood that a small number of HP Inc’s workforce will remain in Leixlip but the managers could not confirm how many.

“Our intention is to retain talent where we can and offer them positions in other locations, in line with our strategy,” said Maurice O’Connell, general manager of the HP Inc site in Leixlip.

“We are not at liberty to disclose numbers but we will work with employees and see if they can be redeployed elsewhere in our global print business.”

Were Leixlip job cuts a casualty of Trump’s ‘America First’ policy?

Morera said that the company sees 3D printing as its next major opportunity but the key is to consolidate resources at bigger sites.

When asked if there was any attempt to modernise the Irish site to compete for the new responsibilities that will come with 3D printing, Morera said: “This is not a reflection of the abilities of the Irish team. The team have done a great job working in manufacturing and engineering.

“The context of this is how we can gain scale in the print business by bringing functions into sites that are already existing. We see sites in the US and in Singapore as having the existing resources to suit these opportunities.”

The timing of the closure and the movement of jobs overseas coincides with US president Donald Trump’s rhetoric about bringing jobs back to America.

Morera said the decision had nothing to do with the presidential administration or Trump’s so-called ‘America First’ policies.

“It is not related to any change in the US administration. It is a decision that was made by our global print business looking for efficiencies and cost savings, it is completely unrelated,” Morera confirmed.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years