Gateway has submitted a proposal to close its British and Irish operations as part of a move to revamp its business. The PC maker is also evaluating whether to close all of its overseas operations, according to a
Gateway notified employees recently that it’s considering closing its manufacturing plant in Dublin as well as its sales, service and marketing operations throughout Britain and Ireland,
reported. The company has 1,085 workers in Britain and Ireland.
According to an
The Irish Times
, other high-tech companies in Ireland are also vulnerable, including Apple. Karlin Lillington writes that manufacturing jobs are the most vulnerable of all jobs in Ireland because they are the lowest skilled and most easily exported to cheaper economies.
“That is why the Government has spent nearly two decades striving to lure knowledge-intensive jobs to the Republic,” Lillington says. “It has encouraged multinationals to diversify into research and development or other skill areas that anchor value here.”
Apple, which has had a Dublin presence since the 1980s, is more vulnerable than, say, IBM or Oracle’s Irish operations, which are broad-based and include CD manufacture, localization, consultancy and development, Lillington opines. But unlike Gateway and Dell, “Apple makes complex products that frequently change.” Re-gearing a manufacturing line to incorporate changes is intensive and makes the skilled workforce more valuable and the operation costly to move, Lillington says.
By contrast, Dell and Gateway put a variety of standard parts into “boxes” per customer order, the analysis continues. This is easier to move elsewhere or outsource to cheap Asian labor, meaning that Dell could be a possible candidate for further job losses, Lillington adds. (Thanks to MacCentral reader David Stewart for the heads-up on “The Irish Times” article.)