Contract loss sees HP slash 280 jobs

by Gazette Reporter

HUNDREDS of jobs are to be axed at computer giant Hewlett Packard’s (HP) customer service unit in Sandyford in what has been described as “devastating news for employees”.
Locally-based computer company HP has announced that it is to shed 280 jobs at its offices in Sandyford.
The company will be making 220 employees redundant, with 60 contractors also being let go, following a review by one of its clients of its pan-European operating model.
The customer-service unit had been set up to deal with Barclaycard clients in Italy and Portugal.
The job losses come after Barclaycard’s decision was made to move the company’s services closer to its customers in Italy and Portugal.
This means that HP’s multilingual support services at its unit in Sandyford will no longer be required, and will come to a close at the end of next March.
In a statement, HP has confirmed that employees were informed of the decision at a meeting on Thursday, June 27.
“HP confirms that following a review by one of its clients of their pan-European operating model, and a decision to move services closer to their customers in Portugal and Italy, multilingual support services provided by HP on behalf of the client will end on March 31, 2014.
“HP is fully committed to its operations in Ireland and will work closely with its employees on the transition and redeployment opportunities to help minimise any impact and ensure high standards of customer delivery quality are maintained,” said the statement.
HP has further stated that it continues to hire in Ireland, in line with recent announcements, and is on schedule to build a new state-of-the-art facility at its site in Ballybrit in Galway.
In Ireland, HP currently employs almost 4,000 staff, with approximately 3,000 employed in Leixlip, Co Kildare, and 800 in Galway.
Responding to the news, Cllr Victor Boyhan (Ind) said he was “extremely disappointed” with Barclaycard’s decision to end its contractual service arrangements with HP, and that “it would lead to devastation for local families”.
Speaking to The Gazette, he said: “The axe has now fallen on 280 jobs. This is bad news for the county, and is devastating news for employees, their families and their incomes.
“I understand from officials at HP that they have major plans for expansion in Galway, and I would appeal to the company to assist in the retraining of its employees at Sandyford with a view to retaining its facility.”
Local area representative for the area John C Byrne (FF) also expressed his concern at the recent announcement.
He said: “This is a huge blow to the area. Many of the workforce at this facility live in our community with their families and play a vital role in the local economy.
“Between now and next March, I would ask the government to do everything it can to attract new business to the Sandyford area that can employ the highly-skilled workforce that will be made redundant.”
The news made national headlines on July 3 – the same date that Ulster Bank announced its plan to close up to 39 branches in Ireland, in an effort to return the group to profit by 2016.
This will see more than 1,000 job losses, with a workforce reduction from approximately 5,800 to between 4,000 and 4,500 staff.

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