Ireland hit by New Year job cuts

January gloom hits Ireland, as two high-tech employers decide to close factories in Dublin

Over one hundred workers at a Fujitsu factory in Dublin have had a rotten start to 2002, as they were told on Friday that they were being made redundant.

The Fujitsu Isotec plant -- which manufacturers components for dot matrix printers -- will close at the end of January. Around 130 workers will lose their jobs. The company has blamed the decision on a declining market. Prices for laser and ink jet printers have fallen significantly over recent years, so these products have now largely taken over the consumer market once dominated by dot matrix.

This is the second Irish factory to close in as many days. Electronics manufacturer Sanmina-SCI said on Thursday that it was closing its Dublin-based factory -- again with the loss of 130 jobs.

Ireland -- which enjoyed a boom in recent years as many high-tech companies chose to establish factories there -- has been badly hit by the recent slowdown. Back in August PC maker Gateway announced the closure of a factory in Dublin, with the loss of 900 jobs. And, last November, Nortel Networks announced the closure of a plant at Galway -- resulting in 275 job losses.

For a round-up of the latest tech business coverage, see the Business News Section.

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