Workers at the Celestica plant in Parkmore were waiting to hear their fate last night as the company prepared to hold a general meeting with all 380 day and night shift staff in the facility. It was widely expected that the company, which announced cuts to working hours last week, was preparing to cut its Galway workforce in a bid to offset a fall in revenue.
The Toronto, Canada, based manufacturer closed a plant in Arden Hills, Minneapolis, last month, laying off 590 staff in the process. Speculation about the future of the Galway plant was rife yesterday, with estimates of jobs cuts at the facility ranging from 40 to 150 workers.
A spokesperson for Celestica told the Galway Advertiser in advance of the meeting that it could not comment on the outcome of the meeting, as the company had made a commitment to employees that they would be the first to hear the announcement.
The company, which provides contract manufacturing services for the computer peripherals industry, was a main contractor for Hewlett Packard before the PC firm moved many of its manufacturing lines to Asia last year.
On Sunday Celestica announced it was cutting workers’ hours by 24 hours a month, resulting in pay cuts of up to €500 a month between hourly rate and shift premiums for some employees.
The latest jobs worry comes just days after a meeting of the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Galway City and County Enterprise Board, Galway Chamber, and the Galway City Council, heard there were no major job losses in the pipeline for the city.
Ahead of last night’s announcement, Mayor of Galway Padraig Conneely said any job losses in the city were regrettable.
“It’s unfortunate that a city like Galway, that was doing so well over the last few years, is now starting on this downward slope,” Mayor Conneely said. “This will be devastating for the workers and their families, and it is regrettable to see such highly skilled people losing their jobs.”
In a separate development US financial services company Fidelity Investments has made 50 full-time staff and some contract staff redundant at its offices in Galway and Dublin. The company set up in Galway in 2007 and has employed some 300 staff between its two Irish offices.
Meanwhile medical devices company Boston Scientific plans to boost its Galway workforce by some 120 following the announcement that the company is to close its manufacturing facility in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, and move its Letterkenny operations to the Galway plant.
Boston Scientific currently employs 120 people at the Letterkenny facility and the company has said it intends to offer these workers the option of moving to the Galway facility when the Donegal plant closes next year.
The company said the closure of the Letterkenny plant follows a recent strategic review of its Ireland operations.