HP Ireland workers to take ‘enforced leave’

27 Jan 2009

A third of Hewlett-Packard’s 4,000 workforce in Ireland are to take eight days’ enforced leave at the end of March as the operation shuts down its manufacturing plant in a bid to cut costs.

Siliconrepublic.com has learned that Hewlett-Packard (HP) intends to shut its Dublin Inkjet Manufacturing Operation (DIMO) for an eight-day period between St Patrick’s Day and Easter Monday.

The move comes just weeks after Dell in Limerick announced it was discontinuing manufacturing in the city in the coming year, with the eventual loss of 1,900 jobs.

However, a spokesperson for HP in Ireland said the company was still committed to its Irish operations, that the move was a cost-cutting effort, and that redundancies were not on the cards.

The spokesperson said employees have already been consulted about the move.

“That is correct. Employees have been written to and have been asked to take eight days’ leave either as holidays or as unpaid leave over that timeframe in March and April, and this coincides with public holidays.”

She said the move was in response to volatile market conditions. “HP is looking to be as operationally efficient as possible.”

The spokesperson told siliconrepublic.com: “There are definitely no redundancies planned. HP last year announced a restructure and has reaffirmed its commitment to Ireland.”

When asked if the position may change, the spokesperson said: “In the current climate, business is constantly under review and this will always be the case.”

HP has several different business units in Ireland spanning inkjet manufacturing, an international bank, sales and marketing, e-procurement, media manufacturing and customisation. The majority of the company’s 4,000 Irish-based employees are employed at the DIMO facility.

By John Kennedy

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