US telecomunications equipment maker Artesyn Technologies is to close its manufacturing facility at Youghal, Co Cork, with the loss of 160 jobs.
Michael Geary, chief executive of the Cork Chamber of Commerce, describes the news as “regrettable” and a “blow” to the town’s workers and families, particularly at this time of the year.
Speaking to siliconrepublic.com, he said: “This is a serious blow to a town of that small size. Artesyn Technologies was a leading company in Youghal, and certainly some years ago at the height of its success it would have been the leading employer for the town.”
“We have a lot of concerns about our own competitiveness because of general costs increases and the strength of the euro to the dollar. These are affecting US firms’ investment decisions and Ireland’s inward investment,” Geary adds.
Management told workers at the plant yesterday that the facility, which makes power conversion equipment, would be closed on a phased basis over the next nine months. The US multinational telecommunications company is to retain its sales and design offices in Youghal, which employ 82 people.
The company’s director of European operations, Philip Whelan, says the decision to close was one that management had worked hard to avoid, but it had no choice in the end because of the state of the telecommunications industry worldwide.
The layoffs will start on a phased basis in the new year following negotiations over terms and conditions with SIPTU.
By Lisa Deeney