HP Inc job losses: ‘They don’t have any respect for the people’

Leixlip locals react to the blow caused by printing and PC company’s layoff plans

 Councillor and chairman of Leixlip municipal district council Bernard Caldwell: “It’s frightening, 500 people . . . Hopefully they’re going to be properly treated by Hewlett-Packard.” Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins

Councillor and chairman of Leixlip municipal district council Bernard Caldwell: “It’s frightening, 500 people . . . Hopefully they’re going to be properly treated by Hewlett-Packard.” Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

 

It was a tearful occasion for some workers at HP Inc’s Leixlip site as they left meetings with managers following the announcement that 500 jobs are to go.

Some people have worked at the plant for more than two decades since its establishment in 1995, and many appeared shocked as they streamed out of a series of “communications sessions” at the facility during the day.

In the aftermath of the news, local people said it was another blow to the area’s economy.

“Last year there were cuts at Intel, and now there’s 500 from HP,” said Gerry Lawler, who was nonetheless keen not to overplay the negative impacts of the announcement.

“The fact that Leixlip is so close to Dublin, and there’s also a lot of workers coming in from outside locations, it’s not quite as devastating as it perhaps sounds. But of course there will be great sadness – 500 people is a huge amount.”

The reliance on large multinational corporations for employment has increasingly become a point of concern for some Leixlip residents given the high-profile jobs cuts in recent times.

“I know a young couple a few doors down from me and both of them are working in a large multinational. They have two babies and the father has been cut back to three days, so you can imagine the effect that would have on them if jobs went,” said Maurice Fitzmaurice. But hopefully things will pick up, you just don’t know.”

Treatment of workers

A local woman who wished to remain unnamed commented: “I’m sorry but that’s how they treat their people. Somebody living in the States working for a big company, it’s the same thing. They just cut, they don’t have any respect for the people who are working for years. They just cut it and that’s it.”

Speaking to media at the plant, Kildare Fianna Fáíl TD James Lawless described the closure as “devastating” and called on the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to intervene.

“Well, 500 jobs is 500 families, that’s 500 people and their children and their spouses that work, live and go to school in the area. Obviously that’s a negative, there’s a confidence impact as well.”

Independent councillor and cathaoirleach for the Celbridge-Leixlip municipal district Bernard Caldwell said many of the staff at the facility are young people who live in the locality.

“It’s frightening, 500 people. I’m just amazed, I don’t know what to say really. Hopefully they’re going to be properly treated by Hewlett-Packard. Up to now they’ve been very good to their staff, we’ll just have to wait and see.”