I’ve talked about this before on my blog. In fact, I’ve been telling people this would happen since 2001 when I learned about Dell recruiting for staff to work in a new huge plant in eastern Europe. Last year we heard rumours about Dell trying to sell their Limerick manufacturing plant. And in the last few weeks we heard Dell corporate was having meetings about the subject of laying off 2000 Irish employees. Of course, we had all the usual nice reaffirming promises from the government.
This morning, Dell Limerick called their staff to meetings. In the last few minutes we heard that 1900 staff are being laid off. Their jobs are being transferred to a plant in Lodz, Poland. The transition will run between April and November of this year. Dell said in a statement:
"Dell will migrate all production of computer systems for customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) from Limerick to its Polish facility and third-party manufacturing partners over the next year.
Dell’s employees in Limerick will continue to coordinate EMEA manufacturing, logistics and supply chain activities across a range of functions including product development, engineering, procurement and logistics. The company’s Global Innovation Solutions Centre and EMEA Command Centre will remain in Limerick. Dell continues its significant sales, marketing and support activities in Cherrywood, Dublin".
On the news yesterday we heard that in Limerick and the area, 15 people’s jobs rely on each job in Dell. That’s a 1-15 impact. 1900 people just lost their jobs. That’s 28,500 who will be affected if you believe that ratio.
I honestly don’t blame Dell or Poland for this. I would safely bet that a huge percentage of their staff in Ireland are actually Polish. Why hire Polish people in Ireland when you can hire them in Poland? You pay them less, they have a relatively better standard of living and they’re happier being with friends and family. Also, it’s easier and cheaper to ship packages across continental Europe from Poland via road/train than it is via lorry/ferry/lorry from Ireland.
Who do I blame? Our government. The cost of living in Ireland rocketed out of control over the last 12 years. This has been driven by taxation, bending to the will of the construction/finance industries and costs associated with booming levels of wasteful administration and projects in the civil and public services, for example:
- We have 2 health departments.
- The PPARS project which is a 12+ years long SAP deployment that still doesn’t work.
- E-Voting where every IT person in the country said the system was unusable and the machines have been in expensive environmentally controlled storage ever since.
- A ridiculous E-Ticketing system project that has cost over 30 million so far and it’s still only a concept. Strangely, cities like Munich and Amsterdam have the same thing with a strip of paper and no computers.
- Increasing public transport costs so they now cost more than using a car and paying for parking.
- Increasing VAT (sales tax) recently when every other country has cut it to restart their economies. Northern Ireland did well out that as seen by the 3+ our traffic jams around Newry caused by cars from the Republic.
We all know that the 3 major causes of inflation in this country have been government, housing and greedy distributors. Want proof of the latter? Price any electronics item in Ireland and deduct tax. Travel up north (also on our island and subject to the same shipping costs) and compare the price. To be fair, use a conversion rate of 1-0.70 to use sterling/euro conversion rates from before Sterling’s instability. You’ll see that it’s much cheaper to live up North, heck anywhere!
The job scene for IT people in Ireland isn’t as good as it was. Now there are 1900 more people on the market. They may be manufacturing or junior IT staff but the effect of them job hunting will ripple up the chain. I’m sure that our Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) will be on the news within the hour promising studies, retraining, etc. Well she can go get stuffed with the rest of her waster buddies in the cabinet.
My sympathies go out to the people and families affected by today’s news.