IBM job loss speculation in Ireland mounts

4 May 2005

Fears that up to 120 jobs may be lost at IBM’s EMEA operations in Ireland have risen in recent days over speculation that jobs may be transferred to India as part of an overall global restructure of the computer giant. The company declined to comment when contacted by last week.

In recent days there has been mounting speculation that IBM is considering dismantling certain parts of its EMEA operations at the company’s operations in Mulhuddart, Co Dublin and that up to 120 jobs may eventually be transferred to India where call centre workers can be paid as little as €177 per month.

IBM is one of the jewels in Ireland’s technology crown, having had a sales presence in the country for more than 50 years. In the mid-Nineties the company ramped up its presence in Ireland considerably upon the construction of a technology campus in west Dublin.

More than 3,000 people are employed by IBM in Mulhuddart in a variety of roles ranging from software and hardware design to manufacturing and logistics as well as customer support.

In recent weeks Sanford Berstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said globally more than 5,000 to 10,000 jobs at IBM may be lost as part of a major restructuring at the computer giant after the company reported a sizeable earnings shortfall – a 9pc earnings miss – in its most recent quarter. At an analyst briefing following the results IBM admitted that a “sizeable restructuring” of the company was on the cards but declined to say what shape or scale the restructuring would take.

Speculation on what the impact of such a restructuring locally would be was heightened by recent television reports on the subject. When contacted by IBM declined to comment on the matter.

By John Kennedy