Dublin Dell jobs safe but 2,000 at risk
THE future of Dell's Dublin operation seems secure, despite strong speculation that the computer giant will shed thousands of Irish jobs.
Around 2,000 workers are facing a nervous Christmas, as they won't know until at least January whether they will be unemployed within two years.
However, it is now thought that all 1,350 jobs at Dell's Cherrywood plant are safe.
The Dublin operation is responsible for sales and marketing activities in the local Irish market and the home and small-to-medium business sector of the British market.
However, in a stark warning that serious cuts are on the way for Limerick, Tánaiste Mary Coughlan and Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea have confirmed that they flew to Texas for talks with Dell executives.
Despite this the company intends to push ahead with a $3bn (E2.1bn) restructuring plan that threatens jobs at its Limerick plant.
Dell's importance to the Irish economy is reflected in the fact that it is the country's largest exporter.
Although Dell has not issued official figures, the suspicion is that just 1,000 of Limerick's 3,000 workers will have a job at the end of next year.
According to a spokesperson for the company, the future of its Limerick base is under consideration as part of a global review.
There were calls this morning for Taoiseach Brian Cowen to intervene and hold direct meetings with the head of Dell in Texas.
Limerick East TD Kieran O'Donnell (FG) said: "The Taoiseach needs to come out on this as he did on the recapitalisation of the banks."
Mr O'Dea said Dell workers will not learn their fate until early in the new year.
The fear is that Dell will move its European base from Ireland to a cheaper location further east. Last year, it opened a plant in Lodz in Poland, where 1,800 people now work.
It is thought that it will eventually have a staff of more than 3,000.
In a further blow to the ailing economy, Google has decided to abandon plans to locate up to 100 software engineering jobs in Ireland because it was unable to find enough qualified candidates here.