A Shannon-based company has confirmed plans to cease operations before the end of next year.
There had been speculation that an announcement was imminent from Molex which was established in Shannon in 1971.
The company has now confirmed plans to close the facility by the end of 2020 resulting in 500 workers being impacted.
In a statement this afternoon, the company said: “As a leading supplier to the dynamic global electronics marketplace, Molex continually evaluates market demand and adjusts our operations to align our resources with that demand. Having a market competitive cost structure is critical for building a sustainable business.
Following a review of the product lines manufactured at its facility in Shannon, Ireland, Molex today announced its intention to close that facility by the end of 2020, subject to an employee consultation process. The closure is expected to take place in a series of phases, starting in early 2020.”
The company added: “The majority of products made at the Shannon facility have insufficient financial returns and growth potential. Therefore, these products will either be exited or divested, with any remaining products transferred to other Molex facilities.
The impact of this decision will regrettably result in the closure of the facility impacting up to 500 employees.”
“Announcing our intention to close this facility is very difficult due to its impact on our employees, and the deep ties Molex has with the region and its people having operated in Shannon since 1971. The decision in no way reflects on our Shannon employees, who have made an invaluable contribution to our business over many years.
We are now focusing our efforts on engaging with our employees following this difficult announcement and that includes a comprehensive programme of supports to help them with the transition ahead,” the company added.
Molex brings together innovation and technology to deliver electronic solutions to customers worldwide. With a presence in more than 40 countries, Molex offers a full suite of solutions and services for many markets, including data communications, consumer electronics, medical, industrial, automotive, and commercial vehicle.
Reacting to the news Shannon Chamber CEO Helen Downes said: “This is a very sad day for Shannon and for Shannon Chamber but most especially for the 500 employees at Molex, who have given dedicated service to the company since it first set up in Shannon in 1971.
“As one of the leading employers in Shannon, Molex has been an exemplar employer over those years and has been very supportive of developing Shannon to its fullest potential, demonstrating this is so many ways: chairing the Mid-West Lean Network in its first year (2017), hosting many lean workshops since 2016 and continuing to be a very active member of the Network and of the Chamber.
“They have also been instrumental in the formation of STEM Shannon, an initiative aimed at encouraging a greater number of second-level students to pursue science and technology careers through taking up STEM subjects when entering University. This has been a very successful project to date. It has delivered a structured week-long TY programme for schools in the area, involving a collective number of companies in Shannon, who have come together to give students a realistic look at what working in STEM involves.
“It is very clear that this was a very difficult decision for the company and one which they have given careful consideration to. It is not a reflection on the employees’ capabilities or skills, but due to market factors. We would hope that, given the multi-sectoral spread in Shannon and the region that opportunities to match the skills that are being lost will manifest over time.
“Everyone will need time to digest the magnitude of this loss, and what interventions can be looked at to alleviate the losses.
“While we hear the term full employment used so frequently now, this will mean nothing to the people who have been told they are to lose their jobs. As a Chamber we will most certainly be linking with Molex to assess opportunities for the tremendous skill sets that staff have amassed, and which we have witnessed first-hand in the Chamber, and will assist in any way we can to assess opportunities for these employees to gain new employment.”