300 jobs at a North Dublin multinational call centre are “at risk”, according to a senior executive at the facility.
Staff at Convergys in Swords have been told that they may lose their jobs after the loss of critical business for the company.
“We informed our people working at the Swords site that we had been unsuccessful in retaining a client contract… it was therefore necessary for us to inform them that their jobs were at risk,” said Paul Terry, marketing and communications director for Convergys in Europe. “We are still working out the full implications and are keeping our people informed at every stage.”
The US-based multinational firm, which services firms such as Nikon and Nike from its Irish operations, also has a facility in the north Dublin suburb of Santry.
“I am in receipt of representations from workers employed by Convergys in Swords who have been advised that 300 workers are to be made redundant,” said Louise O’Reilly, an ex-Siptu negotiator who is a Sinn Fein TD for Dublin Fingal.
“These workers, their families and their communities will be devastated by this news.”
The TD claimed that the company is to begin a 30 day consultation period on April 20th.
However the company has stopped short of saying that redundancies are to come.
“It’s too early to be definitive about the impact this may have on jobs,” said Mr Terry. “As well as working hard to secure new work for the site, employees have the opportunity to apply for other positions within the company. In addition, our people also have the option to apply for roles within the companies that will be delivering this work in the future.”
There was more positive news for job seekers in Meath, where 400 jobs were announced as part of the expansion of the pharmaceutical company Shire.
The new jobs are to be created at a biotechnology plant on a 120-acre site at Piercetown, between Dunboyne and Dunshaughlin, as part of a €354m investment by Shire, according to the company. The project is also to create 700 construction jobs.
The company specialises in manufacturing specialty medicines for rare diseases and disorders like ADHD and Hunter’s Syndrome as well as gastrointestinal and internal medicine.
Flemming Ornskov, chief executive of the firm, said the campus will be involved in making products to fight rare diseases and other conditions.
"We are delighted to be expanding our operations in Ireland, where we have strong existing relationships," he said.
"The new campus in County Meath will provide necessary geographic diversification and will help us serve our growing international business."
The build is expected to start later this year and is due to be operational by mid-2019.
Shire said it will be recruiting for full-time jobs in the areas of research and development, operations, technical staff, engineering and construction.
The multinational, which currently employs about 100 people at its base in Citywest, Dublin, chose Ireland as the site of its expansion plans due to “its strategically important location coupled with excellence in life science, research and development (R&D) and manufacturing,” said Tim Kelly, Shire’s vice president of technical operations.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, said the company’s choice of Co Meath to expand its operations will be a massive boost to the area while strengthening Ireland’s position as “a leading global location for biotechnology manufacturing and R & D”.
“This is a really big win and an important company with the ambition to become the biggest in its class in this sector and one we’re very pleased to win,” he said.
But asked whether the current stalemate over the formation of a government could thwart the recovery and attracting companies like Shire to Ireland, Mr Bruton said: “our agencies are pushing ahead. It is a challenging environment, a very competitive environment for the IDA, so winning a project like this is a great achievement by the IDA,” he said.
On Wednesday, the US technology firm Slack announced that would hire 150 new people at its new Dublin headquarters.
Meanwhile, a report from recruitment firm Morgan McKinley said that more people are chasing almost the same number of available jobs as a year ago, according to the latest employment monitor from recruitment firm Morgan McKinley.
The Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor tracks the number of new job vacancies and new candidates each month.
"Generally, quarter one of 2016 has been positive in terms of hiring confidence and this is in line with the CSO figures for March that indicate unemployment rates have fallen to an eight year low," Morgan McKinley Ireland's chief operations officer Karen O'Flaherty said.