26 November 2008

239 Job Losses in three US-owned Irish Firms

Ireland is really in the grip of a serious recession now, and almost every day one hears of more companies closing or reducing the size of their workforce. And - according to analysts - we are only at the beginning. A lot more and worse is expected to come next year.

In today's news we have learned that another 239 jobs are going to be lost in the Irish operations of three US companies in counties Galway, Limerick and Kilkenny.

The Galway-based Thermo King factory is laying off 110 of its staff as part of a 'restructuring programme'.
The company, which is part of the US Ingersoll Rand Company Ltd., manufactures 'transport temperature control systems' for a variety of mobile applications, including trailers, truck bodies, buses, shipboard containers and railway cars.
On October 15th Thermo King admitted that it was "the latest victim of the credit crunch" and decided to reduce production on one of its assembly lines.

Meanwhile the manufacturing company Filtertek in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, announced it is to cut its almost 100-strong workforce by 59, which is a reduction of more than 60%. The Irish plant, which specialises in the production of modern filter technology, is the manufacturing part of a Dutch-registered subsidiary of the US company Filtertek Inc., based in Hebron/Illinois.

And, as certain things seem always to appear in units of three, there is more bad news from a place not very far from here.
The ball-bearing manufacturer NN Euroball, a US-owned company with its head office in the state of Tennessee, is going to close its production plant in Kilkenny with the loss of 70 jobs. The company produces high precision metal bearing components and has come to Kilkenny with IDA support in 1997.

This is normally the busiest time of the year for the firm, but there has been a steady decline in demand for its product since October. Production at the facility will cease early next year when the majority of staff will lose their jobs.
The workers at the IDA-supported company have been on 'short time' since last month and the company says the closure is "due to the global downturn in the automotive industry".

This might well be, and the current economic crisis is affecting many businesses all around the globe.
However, one cannot avoid to notice that NN Euroball is another of the many US companies that were brought into Ireland by the IDA (Industrial Development Authority) with a lucrative package of tax breaks and favourable conditions. These special conditions are usually granted for a period of ten years. And guess what...? More than 90% of the - predominantly US - companies who avail of it close their Irish operation between one and two years after the perks have ended and they have to face normal market conditions and pay taxes as everyone else.

In the case of NN Euroball the global recession might well be the main reason for closure, but it does not take the company off the long list of IDA short-term successes that turned into long-term failures.

The Emerald Islander

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