Intel recently presented a strongly negative quarterly result and has to make savings. In Ireland, this is to be achieved without far-reaching job cuts. Employees at the Leixlip plant will instead be given the option of going on unpaid leave for three months.
Things are not going well at Intel
At Intel, things have not been going well economically lately. At the end of October, the company presented its latest financial figures – and reported an enormous failure. Within only three months, losses of 175 million US dollars had accumulated. Added to this is the fact that sales have slumped by around 20 percent compared to the same period last year. The economic weakness of the chip manufacturer can be traced back to the generally weakening PC market: Here, less and less money has been spent in recent months, which not only affects PC manufacturers and vendors, but also companies that produce important hardware.
Recently, rumors had been doing the rounds that Intel was planning to cut thousands of jobs to compensate for the accumulated and expected losses. Against the background of the company’s previous tactics, this does not seem implausible: Intel has already laid off 12,000 employees in 2016. However, at least in Ireland, the mass elimination of jobs does not seem to be planned. Rather, the offer to employees suggests that Intel wants to keep them at the company for the long term.
Investments in Ireland
This is also supported by the fact that Intel is currently having the Leixlip plant in question converted at a cost of twelve billion euros. The aim is to make it ready for Intel 4 technology and thus future-proof it. Catherine Murphy, who represents the constituency in the Irish Parliament, therefore assumes that the company intends to make a long-term commitment to the site. Speaking to the Irish Times, Murphy classified Intel’s approach as follows, “You don’t want to lay people off to hire new ones later who have to be trained.” Intel is also currently investing a lot of money in Germany to establish itself in semiconductor production.
However, Murphy also pointed out that those affected nevertheless feared for their jobs. For example, he said, it was not clear what would happen if not enough employees accepted the offer of unpaid three-month leave. Acceptance, in turn, presupposes that the employees have financial reserves – so it is hardly within the realm of possibility for all those affected. One employee representative therefore strongly condemned Intel’s action and called for unionization.