Nearly 250 jobs to be lost at Clonmel medical devices firm

The Abbott plant in Clonmel, Co, Tipperary, yesterday. photograph: dylan vaughan

The Abbott plant in Clonmel, Co, Tipperary, yesterday. photograph: dylan vaughan

Fri, Feb 22, 2013, 00:00

Medical devices group Abbott is cutting close to 250 jobs at its Clonmel plant.

The US company employs 1,400 people at the site, one of 11 it operates in Ireland.

It is understood the company is phasing out production of a number of older products at the plant. Most of the job losses will come from the workers manufacturing these devices.

Just over 200 jobs will go from the permanent staff, with a further 39 contract employees not having their contracts renewed.

Abbott said the measures were to meet “the evolving needs of the business and to remain competitive in a challenging global environment”.

The company hopes to achieve the job cuts on a voluntary basis. The terms of the redundancy programme were not released but it emerged last night that the company will offer six weeks’ pay per year on top of statutory redundancy, up to a maximum of 2½ years’ pay.

In a statement last night, Abbott said that the Clonmel facility remained strategically important to its global vascular manufacturing network. In the future, it said, the site will focus primarily on the manufacture of newer, advanced medical devices that incorporate a drug and device combination. “Capital investment will be made at the site this year to enable it to manufacture these innovative medical technologies.”

Abbott is one of Ireland’s largest healthcare companies, employing more than 3,200 people. No other Irish site was affected by yesterday’s announcement.