Dell announced it will cut 1,900 jobs in Ireland and shift its European manufacturing operations to Poland, where labor costs are at least two-thirds lower than in Ireland. This is a major blow to Ireland's economy, as Dell is the country's second-largest corporate employer.
Dell is Ireland's second-largest corporate employer, its biggest exporter and in recent years has contributed about 5 percent to the national gross domestic product. Economists warn that each Dell job underpins another four to five jobs in Ireland.
Managers told its approximately 4,300 Irish employees that 1,900 of them — overwhelmingly assembly-line workers — would lose their jobs between April 2009 and January 2010.
By then, the company said, it plans to have transferred the entire Irish production of laptops and desktop computers to a new Dell plant in Poland's third-largest city, Lodz — where labor costs are at least two-thirds lower than Dell's rates in Ireland — and to subcontractors chiefly in Asia.
"This is a difficult decision, but the right one for Dell to become even more competitive, and deliver greater value to customers," said Sean Corkery, vice president of operations at Dell's major facility in Limerick, southwest Ireland. He personally broke the news to large groups of employees.