Lionbridge to close Galway operation

21 Jul 2006

International localisation and outsourcing company Lionbridge, which employs 350 people (20pc of its global workforce) in Ireland, is to lay off 35 permanent and temporary workers with the closure of its Galway operation. The jobs will go to India, has learned.

Workers at the plant were told verbally over a week ago that their positions were to be made redundant and their responsibilities transitioned to a lower-cost location elsewhere in the world.

A spokesman for Lionbridge in Ireland told “A large pharmaceutical customer in the US has mandated that the work we have been doing in Galway is to be transitioned to India at their behest.”

Staff at the Galway plant were told that the operation would close in September.

While the staff have been told verbally that their positions are to be made redundant, negotiations regarding a redundancy package have yet to take place.

The Lionbridge spokesman explained: “That process has started and we are aiming to make sure we do it in the right way.”

The Galway operation was handling IT outsourcing work for Lionbridge’s international customers and was focusing largely on two clients in the US providing maintenance and development work for Oracle-based systems and mainframe-based systems.

Nasdaq-listed Lionbridge provides globalisation and testing services to some of the world’s largest software firms from its operations in Dublin, Galway city and Ballina.

The Lionbridge spokesman explained: “We have given workers the option to move with the work to India and remain as employees otherwise they can accept the redundancy package. We are trying to work with this pharmaceutical company and manage the transition in a professional way.”

The spokesman maintained that the remaining workforce in Ireland will not be threatened by the decision. “We’ll still be employing close to 350 people in Ireland and the operations here are the most significant in the company.

“Our strategy is to grow and develop the business. Ireland is, and will continue to grow as, the central hub for all of Lionbridge’s activity in Europe. Ireland makes up a large portion of the company’s annual revenue run rate of US$400m and will continue to do so even after this business is transitioned.

“It is disappointing that the customer has taken this decision but we’ll have to manage this process and make sure that the remaining business in Ireland continues to grow,” the spokesman said.

By John Kennedy