Fifty jobs to go at Boston Scientific but boss says Irish staff are stellar

Medical device company Boston Scientific is to cut 50 jobs from its Galway plant. It is understood that management informed staff of the decision on Tuesday afternoon.

The US multinational announced the jobs losses as part of its global restructuring. There are more than 2,500 people employed at the Ballybrit facility.

The jobs losses are thought to affect mostly engineers and technicians at the facility.

The site in Ballybrit is the largest of Boston Scientific’s three plants in Ireland. The company designated Galway to be its global centre of excellence for the manufacture of stents to treat coronary artery blockages. Some of these stents will be transferred to facitilites elsewhere.

Boston Scientific announced last year that it was planning to cut up to 1,400 jobs worldwide as part of a plan to save between $225m and $275m annually by 2013. The company previously laid off 175 staff at the Galway plant in 2010.

The company stressed that it will offer the affected workers support and that the cuts were made to align its workforce and operate more effectively.

“Boston Scientific will offer affected Galway employees a comprehensive support programme. Boston Scientific remains committed to supporting its employees through this transition,” it said in a statement.

Just last week management at Boston Scientific’s US headquarters moved to assuage any concerns over the future of the company in Ireland, arising from competition from cheaper labour markets elsewhere.

“Ireland has one of the lowest tax rates in the world today . . . and this is one of the things I admire about your country’s strategy,” the company’s interim chief executive, Hank Kucheman, told The Irish Times in an interview. “But when medical device companies or pharma companies or telecommunication companies look to the Ireland opportunity, one of the things that I find very attractive is how your Government thinks about developing the skill sets within your country.

“Over the years, we’ve brought some of our toughest challenges to Ireland in terms of product initiatives or product introductions, and the people there have been just absolutely stellar. They have knocked it out of the park almost every time.”

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