Dell Closing Ireland Plant

Loss of 1,900 jobs

Dell said on Jan. 8 it was closing its main plant in Ireland with the loss of 1,900 jobs and moving production to Poland. "Dell will migrate all production of computer systems for customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa from Limerick to its Polish facility and third-party manufacturing partners over the next year," Dell said.

The Dell factory in Limerick was set up in 1990 and was one of the jewels in the crown of Ireland's Celtic Tiger economy, employing 4,500 people at its height. Dell remains Ireland's biggest exporter, accounting for 5% of gross domestic product.

Sean Corkery, the company's vice-president of operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said of the Limerick closure: "This is a difficult decision, but the right one for Dell to become even more competitive, and deliver greater value to customers in the region."

Dell said its "Global Innovation Solutions Centre" and other facilities would remain in Limerick despite the factory's closure, and it would continue to operate sales and marketing operations in Dublin.

Dell currently operates three lap-top production lines in Lodz, central Poland, Dell's Poland spokesman Rafal Branowski said. "Our Lodz production facility currently employs 1,800 people," he said. Thursday's news means Dell's Limerkick-based desk-top and server production for customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be moved to Lodz.

However, it remained unclear how many of the 1,900 jobs at Dell's Limerick plant will directly be transferred to Poland.

"Production will be adjusted to market demand," during the current global economic downturn, Branowski said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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