NEC to shutter Co. Meath chip plant

350 pairs of eyes ain't smiling

Updated NEC has confirmed it is to close its Ballivor, Co. Meath semiconductor plant at the end of September with the loss of 350 jobs. The chip maker blamed the move on the plant's "high operating costs".

As reported earlier today by The Register, staff at the facility were alerted to the possibility of redundancies this afternoon when management called a surprise mass meeting.

All staff - including workers on shift in the factory and employees on sick leave - were called to the crunch meeting at 4pm today, to discuss the future of the business.

NEC's Ballivor operation opened in 1976 with backing from the Irish Development Agency. It was one of the county's largest employers, making chips for the European car industry. The Japanese giant has been stepping-up cost-cutting measures in the wake of last year's profits slump.

The company has initiated discussions with employee representatives and state agencies on compensation packages. NEC Ireland MD Kenji Yamashiro said: "Our immediate concern is the welfare of our employees, and we will do everything we can to make this transition as easy as possible for them." ®

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