Just days after it warned that Ireland needs to resolve competitiveness issues, Intel has revealed it is to cut 294 jobs at its Leixlip manufacturing facility where 4,500 people are employed.
The company has described the redundancies as “involuntary”. In a statement, the company said the redundancies, while regrettable, are being driven by the reduction in demand for older 200mm products produced in the Intel Ireland Fab Operation (IFO) in Leixlip, Co Kildare.
“This action will not affect any of the 300mm jobs in Fab 24,” the company stated. “The employees and company will engage in a process of consultation over the next number of weeks to determine which employees will be specifically affected by this action.
“The affected employees will be given the same severance package that was on offer in the voluntary programme earlier this year. At this difficult time, Intel management will be working closely with all affected employees to provide support and assistance.”
The company said that over the past 20 years it has invested €6bn in its Leixlip campus – in 1989 for its European manufacturing headquarters; in 1991 in its first 200mm fab plant investment at Fab 10; in 1995 with an investment in Fab 14, also a 200mm technology; in 2000 when it was investing in Fab 24 to create 300mm chips; and in 2004 in Fab 24 (2).
“Intel remains strongly committed to its operations in Ireland. The staff at the Intel Ireland campus continue to excel and the Intel Ireland management team takes proactive steps on an ongoing basis to allow us to offer positive options to Intel Corporation for inward investment opportunities,” the company said.
Earlier this week, an Intel spokesman told siliconrepublic.com: “The fact of the matter is the older 200mm technologies are coming to the end of their useful life and there aren’t that many customers left for those products. The key is repurposing ourselves; identifying a new transition path and winning new investment is vital.”
In Q1, Intel announced the closure of six factories in the US, China, Malaysia and the Philippines with a total loss of 5,000 to 6,000 jobs.
In addition, Intel also announced in Q1 that it would seek a reduction of 1,000 employees within the manufacturing network.
Commenting on these Q1 redundancies, the company said: “At that time, Intel Ireland faced a necessity to make a difficult decision to participate in this action consistent with the actions of the Arizona and New Mexico manufacturing sites. At that point in time, we sought 200-300 redundancies on a voluntary basis from across the Intel Ireland workforce. This programme closed in May 2009.”
By John Kennedy