S.C.I. JOBS BLOW DEVASTATING FOR FERMOY
Long speculated fears that jobs were under threat at Sanmina-SCI in Fermoy became a reality this week as the electronics manufacturer laid off 130 workers. It is believed that 100 jobs will go in manufacturing along with approximately 30 high-skilled engineering posts. The positions were contract jobs, which account for approximately half of the 400 positions at the plant. Speaking on behalf of Fermoy Enterprise Board, Michael Hanley said he was ‘disgusted’ at this latest news. “I am disgusted and disappointed to see the industrial infrastructure that the Fermoy Enterprise Board and the town worked so hard to secure, crumbling around us because of the type of politics and nonsense this country has fallen victim to.”
Fermoy town councillor, Seamus Coleman, himself a former employee at SCI, likened the combined job losses that have been experienced locally to ‘losing Dell in Limerick’.
“When you bear in mind the losses in this area in places like Galtee, Dairygold, FCI and now this, the combined losses to this region are the equivalent to losing Dell in Limerick. Yet we don’t see any urgency on the Government’s part to intervene in the area like they did in Limerick. It has been hard for our town council to get the IDA to even meet with us,” he added.
Mayor of Fermoy Tadhg O’Donovan has said that the town council will seek a meeting with the Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan, local TDs and county councillors on employment in the region.
The Mayor said that the two most important issues are securing the remaining jobs in the factory and safeguarding Fermoy from the knock on effect of the jobs losses. He further called on SCI to clarify the status of the remaining workers in light of the €30million expansion of the Fermoy facility in June 2007 which established a Research and Development centre of engineering excellence.
“There was much promise then that these highly skilled technology jobs would not be threatened with relocation to eastern European countries and their lower cost bases. I hope the company will say that this is still the situation, that these jobs are safe. I am also asking the Tanaiste what measures will be put in place to safeguard the future of other employment in Fermoy. I believe for every job lost in SCI this week a further job will be lost in the town,” Mayor O’Donovan said.
“It will be a devastating blow to the town of Fermoy,” Fianna Fail TD Ned O’Keeffe told The Avondhu, “There is a real crisis in industrial development in this country when we are seeing the erosion of jobs in technological and electronic sectors which were the flagship sectors of the last ten years.” Labour Deputy Sean Sherlock, who yesterday sought the suspension of standing orders in the Dail to highlight the impending job losses, has called on the Tanaiste to intervene to ensure any further losses are prevented in the area.
“We are not seeing a sense of urgency from her. The North Cork area has been decimated with job losses at Dairygold, the sugar factory and FCI in recent years. Meanwhile, there is a technology park sitting idle in Fermoy and there seems to be no effort by the powers that be to find a viable tenant. It is worrying that some of the jobs being lost are the type of high-end jobs the Government is trying to attract.
"Therefore, I am calling for direct intervention by the Tanaiste to prevent further job losses at the plant,” he said. Cllr Frank O’Flynn said it was a sad day for Fermoy and a difficult time for the families of those affected.
“I am calling on the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to designate Fermoy a top priority, to locate jobs to the state of the art 19 acres site on the Dublin Road that has lain idle for too long. It is a crying shame that such a fine site so near the town ideally located near the airport and port of Cork is going to waste, particularly at this difficult time,” he said.
Sanmina-SCI’s contract manufacturing facility in Fermoy was established in 1989 by SCI and became Sanmina-SCI following the 2002 merger of Sanmina and SCI. It serves customers in both the electronics and medical technologies field.
All media enquiries on the announcement were referred to a Sanmina-SCI spokesperson in San Jose, California. Due to the time difference no official statement was made to this paper at the time of going to press.
Thursday 26th February 6:58pm