Lucent Technologies has confirmed that 60 jobs are to be axed at its optical network manufacturing facility in Blanchardstown, Dublin, as the manufacturing function is to be outsourced overseas.
Lucent, which employs 600 people between its Blanchardstown and Cherrywood operations in areas ranging from research and development to financial services, got caught in the telecommunications doldrums of the past three years and has posed its 12th straight quarterly loss amid weak spending by telecommunications companies. The company has slashed more than 45pc of its workforce throughout the world over the past year as it struggles for profitability.
At its peak, Lucent employed a workforce of around 800 people in Ireland, of which 200 were contractors. A spokesperson for Lucent tells siliconrepublic.com: “As part of an ongoing restructuring plan, Lucent Technologies has implemented the final phase of its outsourcing programme in Ireland. The company will continue to have a significant presence in Blanchardstown and Cherrywood.”
She continues: “The restructuring will see the loss of 60 jobs in the manufacturing division.” The division manufactured optical networking systems for telecommunications firms.
“Manufacturing is being phased out and we will cease direct manufacturing activities in Blanchardstown in September this year. The job cuts won’t take effect for another three months,” she says.
When asked where the outsourced manufacturing will take place, the spokesperson says: “it definitely won’t be local.”
The job cuts take place at a time of seismic changes in the telecoms business and within Lucent itself. Last week, the company posted its 12th straight quarterly loss of nearly US$12bn in 2002. Lucent, a poster child for the struggling telecoms equipment industry, began slashing spending in 2001 after over-investment during the internet bubble left telecom systems with too much capacity. Since then it has sold assets, cut money-losing products and plans to slash two thirds of its workforce in an effort to restore profits.
After announcing the dismal results, Lucent announced that it will consolidate the responsibilities of its top management. As well as this, the company’s chief operating officer Bob Holder stepped down. His responsibilities will be assumed by chairman and CEO Patricia Russo.
By John Kennedy