One of the main employers in the town, Ericsson, has announced the loss of 100 jobs from its Blyry site.
The telecoms plant made the announcement yesterday, November 8, indicating that the jobs were involved in what they call their “legacy” products. Job losses will also affect management, administration, and support areas. The jobs will be cut by February 2013.
Legacy products are based on older technologies which the company now feels no longer need investment.
Affected employees will be given the option of redeployment elsewhere in the company; alternatively voluntary redundancies will be available. However mandatory redundancies might also need to be looked at.
Athlone Chamber has expressed its shock at the announcement saying that the loss of 100 jobs is substantial. The chamber expressed its sympathy with all those involved.
“It is especially difficult for families in the run-up to Christmas. All job losses have an impact on a town the size of Athlone and especially so when those jobs are at the higher end of the scale. Those working in Ericsson are highly skilled, talented, and well-educated people and would be an asset to any company looking for people with software development skills,” said Siobhan Bigley of the Chamber.
Athlone TD Nicky McFadden has also expressed her sympathy with those affected by the loss of the 100 jobs.
“My thoughts are with the staff and families who are affected by these job losses. The announcement has certainly come as an unexpected blow to the town. I have been informed that Ericsson’s announcement is part of a global restructuring aimed at improving the company’s competitiveness. There will also be job losses in other Ericsson facilities around the world,” Deputy McFadden said.
A spokesperson for Ericssons said that the Athlone site continues to be a strategic research and development centre for Ericsson. “It is one of the few centres in Western Europe that has grown substantially over the last three years. In addition, the almost complete major upgrade of the whole facility in Athlone will enhance the company’s capability to introduce more efficient processes and ways of working as it migrates its operations to work on the next generation of R&D products and platforms.
“The future strategy remains unchanged and the R&D operations in Athlone remain an integral part of the overall Ericsson portfolio.”