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Dell Closes Ireland Plant; 2nd Largest Employer

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the raining-under-this-tree-too dept.

The Almighty Buck 494

Wide Angle writes in with a PBS report on tough economic news from Ireland: Dell announced that it will relocate its manufacturing plant in Limerick, Ireland to Lodz, Poland. "Dell's announcement... is a severe blow to the Irish economy, which has been hit hard and fast by the global economic crisis. Dell is Ireland's second-largest corporate employer and the country's largest exporter. Nineteen hundred shift workers will lose their jobs. ...Dell's closing is not a result of the economic downturn, but of a pattern all too familiar in the United States — corporations' perennial search for cheaper labor. Since 2000 several companies, such as Procter & Gamble, Intel, Gateway, and NEC Electronics, have moved manufacturing jobs from Ireland to China, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere. When Poland joined the European Union in 2004, it became an attractive place for companies to set up manufacturing plants. ... However, Ireland has managed to maintain and attract... 'knowledge-intensive jobs.' Google's European headquarters are based in Dublin, and Facebook announced late last year that they would locate their international headquarters there. But the overall economic picture for Ireland is bleak."

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There once was... (3, Funny)

Foldarn (1152051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387439)

There once was a man from Nantucket...

Re:There once was... (2, Informative)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387715)

Being from Nantucket, I don't get the joke. I even read the article (imagine that) to see if there was some reference. In fact, being a native of Nantucket allows me to charge you 50 cents for each use of the word "Nantucket" (it's actually $3000, but we divide the royalties up amongst the entire population -- 50 cents is just my cut). However, if you can pull some strings to get us our own statehood (which we've tried for before) or our own nuclear missile base (from "Boston Legal"), I'll let my 50 cents slide.

Re:There once was... (3, Informative)

Foldarn (1152051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387769)

Originally it was an innocent joke. Now it's just a really vulgar limerick! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_once_was_a_man_from_Nantucket [wikipedia.org]

Re:There once was...here are the funny bits: (5, Funny)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388099)

There once was a man from Nantucket
Whose dick was so long he could suck it.
While wiping his chin,
He said with a grin,
"If my ear were a cunt, I could fuck it."


--- and here is the extended version of the original ---

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who kept all his cash in a bucket.
But his daughter, named Nan,
Ran away with a man
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.


part 2:

But he followed the pair to Pawtucket,
The man and the girl with the bucket;
And he said to the man,
He was welcome to Nan,
But as for the bucket, Pawtucket.


part 3:

Then the pair followed Pa to Manhasset,
Where he still held the cash as an asset,
But Nan and the man
Stole the money and ran,
And as for the bucket, Manhasset.

Re:There once was... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387839)

In fact, being a native of Nantucket allows me to charge you 50 cents for each use of the word "Nantucket" (it's actually $3000, but we divide the royalties up amongst the entire population -- 50 cents is just my cut). However, if you can pull some strings to get us our own statehood (which we've tried for before) or our own nuclear missile base (from "Boston Legal"), I'll let my 50 cents slide.

Hey, you might not have your own state but you did have your own TV show [wikipedia.org] . That's more than my hometown (which has 20 times your population) has ever gotten ;)

Re:There once was... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388075)

I was such a fan of the show I ended up visiting Nantucket. I spent a lot of time at the Brotherhood.

Re:There once was... (5, Funny)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387833)

There once was a company called Dell,
Who saw their costs starting to swell,
Labor in Lodz
Attracted their jobs,
So they told the Irish, "Go to hell".

Re:There once was... (1, Troll)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387901)

almost-rhymes are funnier than actual rhymes! mod parent funny!

Re:There once was... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387945)

Just for the record, the correct pronunciation of Lodz in Polish is something like Woodge.
Cheers!

Can we call it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387469)

Potato famine 2.0?

Re:Can we call it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387681)

I'm Flamebait whilst the Nantucket guy is funny? Riight

willingness to relocate (5, Insightful)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387499)

Perhaps Eire should have factored in that companies agile and willing enough to relocate once to Ireland would likely be sufficiently agile and willing to move to follow the sun again.

Re:willingness to relocate (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387573)

Everyone in Eire with half a brain knew this was coming anyway...
Those relatively low tech manufacturing jobs were only ever going to be useful as a means of bootstrapping ourselves into a properly high tech economy.
Not sure the government knew this, but everyone smart working in tech did.

Re:willingness to relocate (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388043)

I hope the EU does not step in again to enrich them. After all the EU had done for them, the Irish rejected the EU "constitution".

Re:willingness to relocate (1)

D4MO (78537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388233)

Opinion was that we weren't going to accept loosing a commissioner and requiring specific statement on neutrality (which I don't personally believe actually makes any difference). Also, people like to make the government look like idiots, a bloody nose, if you will. If the have a referendum again, it may not pass because people are pissed off with the economy. I don't agree with that line of thinking.

Re:willingness to relocate (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388255)

So Ireland should just do whatever EU leaders want? If the rest of us in europe were given a vote, I doubt Ireland would have been the only one to reject it.

Re:willingness to relocate (3, Informative)

Skrynesaver (994435) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388275)

Not to spawn a pointless off-topic flame war or anything, but at least we have a constitution and so the population gets to vote on it. If the Lisbon treaty, which isn't a constitution, were put to a plebiscite throughout Europe Ireland wouldn't be the only ones rejecting it, in fact support for the European project is probably higher in Ireland than anywhere else in Europe.

Anyway, back on topic, it's a shame for the people in Limerick where the plant was sited, however the jobs going are the assembly line jobs, Dells European planning and management structures remain in Ireland for now.

Re:willingness to relocate (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387791)

This is what happens when capital and goods can freely cross borders but people can't. Capital will simply chase poverty in a never ending circle around the globe. When one poor, desperate country starts to get wealthy, corporations will simply move to the next one, and let the first slip back into poverty.

Re:willingness to relocate (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387993)

This is what happens when capital and goods can freely cross borders but people can't. Capital will simply chase poverty in a never ending circle around the globe. When one poor, desperate country starts to get wealthy, corporations will simply move to the next one, and let the first slip back into poverty.

So what's the solution? If you get rid of the restrictions on people moving you destroy national sovereignty and identity. If you get rid of free trade/adopt protectionism you drag the economy down a few pegs and probably destroy at least as many jobs as you save.

I hate what we've become but I'm at a loss for how to fix it. Ideas?

Re:willingness to relocate (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388113)

You say "destroy national sovereignty" (and all of the restrictions therein) like it's a bad thing.

Re:willingness to relocate (1, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388117)

I don't see how dropping restrictions on people moving will necessarily destroy national sovereignty or identity. If a country has a strong and vital government and cultural identity, they can certainly retain control and identity even with an influx of new citizens.

Re:willingness to relocate (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388207)

I don't see how dropping restrictions on people moving will necessarily destroy national sovereignty or identity.

If you tell a Government that they can't control how many people cross their border is that not by it's very definition a restriction on national sovereignty?

How would it help anyway? How many Americans would really want to move to India when their job gets outsourced? How many Irish would want to move to Poland? Leaving aside the lower standard of living (compared to the US) in most places where jobs are outsourced what about language and cultural barriers?

Re:willingness to relocate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388193)

This is what happens when capital and goods can freely cross borders but people can't.

So what's the solution? I hate what we've become but I'm at a loss for how to fix it. Ideas?

Put a tax on capital leaving the country. Make it a 1% or a 10% tax on funds leaving the country that have not been in the country for a few years or so.

For a long term committed partner, it's not an issue, the tax is zero after 5-10 years. For short term ones - like the industrial equivalent of currency speculators - the hell with them. If there's profit enough, they'll suck it up, if not, they would just have imbalanced your economy anyway. Slightly lower growth, but much stabler over all. You get enough time to shift job training before a long term partner can draw down its capital tax free.

Economics is easy. Politics is hard, because economics is math (and assumptions) and politics is people (and assholes).

Re:willingness to relocate (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388285)

People have been free to move within the United States since its inception, and yet we still have definite regional and local identities. Each state is still able to make decisions that are best for it.

Europe is a bit different of course, and always will be. The point being that identity is inherent in a region and isn't destroyed just because people can move.

I'm also not sure that "free trade" and "protectionism" are absolutes that you either have, or don't have. For instance, I wouldn't call stopping food with Melamine in it a restriction on free trade.

Re:willingness to relocate (2, Insightful)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388133)

I think that Irish citizens could move to Poland if they wanted to.

Besides, what you say is to be applauded, eventually the corporations will move around to even the poorest contries. Then the only way they will be able to make themselves poor again is by waging war or grossly mismanaging their governments (per the US model).

Re:willingness to relocate (4, Informative)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388143)

This is what happens when capital and goods can freely cross borders but people can't.

Both Eire and Poland are in the EU, free movement of people is guaranteed. If the Dell workers want to keep their jobs they can just move to Lodz.

Re:willingness to relocate (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388277)

This is what happens when capital and goods can freely cross borders but people can't.

Erm, in the EU they can. We've got over ten thousand Polish people working here (Netherlands) and if you had walked in a temp agency office last year, you could have gotten a job in Ireland as well (IBM was seeking a lot of people for their customer support back then).

Chasing jobs to Poland doesn't make sense, that's all. Poor pay, poor work environment, insane hours, etc. I've spoken to a few people who quit working in polish factories of large Western corporations because even for Polish standards, it sucked.

Re:willingness to relocate (4, Insightful)

lee1026 (876806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388283)

Problem is, the number of poor countries that are stable enough to invest in is not large, and once a country becomes a wealthy, it rarely slides downwards very far. Thus, this should end relatively soon, as soon as corporations run out of countries.

Re:willingness to relocate (1)

ritesonline (1155575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387879)

Somehow I can't imagine that re-locating an entire factory right across Europe makes economic sense if lower wage bills are the only attraction.

The more likely reasons are significant tax breaks and other government inducements.

And no, this is nothing new, more a case of 'Back to the Future' (although at least DeLorean had the decency to go bust rather than look for bigger 'incentives' elsewhere).

Re:willingness to relocate (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388217)

I don't know which is cheaper but what about: more shiping via truck and less shipping via boat? Even if the boat is cheaper (save in bulk) you have to divide the boat cargo up once it's across the water. Eastern Europe can cover more areas from trucks.

Re:willingness to relocate (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387917)

Ireland's primary draw is that they have the world's lowest rate of corporate income taxes that I know of - something like 8%.

Unfortunately, this illustrates that while tax breaks are nice, the cost of labor is still king.

Re:willingness to relocate (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388081)

So perhaps in addition to the low pay, the Polish government bought the business.

Perhaps they thought that a few thousand jobs created was a good return on dropping their tax rate instead of other forms of government handout like those being enacted right now in the USA.

Re:willingness to relocate (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388139)

The one thing that made Ireland attractive over alternatives to American companies like Intel and Dell was the low corporate taxes. Something else was an educated workforce that spoke English. Although it had varying degrees of accents, it was English. Another was Ireland is in the EU and all the advantages that brought.

Re:willingness to relocate (1)

ritesonline (1155575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388229)

I'm still not convinced.

This reminds me of an HP seminar when they boasted that labour costs for their printers was less than 2% or 3% (don't remember exact figure).

I guess that you'll say this was because of low wages but it's still a very small part of the equation.

The sort of breaks I was thinking of are on capital investments and match funding etc.

Re:willingness to relocate (1)

DSmith1974 (987812) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388163)

Don't Panic! Once all the work has gone to the East, our salaries will in turn become lower than those in the East and the factories will return. I wonder if a global economy will ever stabilize where most regions are broadly similar?

Re:willingness to relocate (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388181)

If you're speaking in English, call it Ireland.
If you're speaking in Irish, call it Eire.

Don't mix and match in what was probably an attempt to sound intelligent and learned.

Despicable tags! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387513)

Frankly, i'm a little worried about all the typecasting in the tags for this article.

You guys are just asking to get bombed by the IRA!

Re:Despicable tags! (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387639)

Frankly, i'm a little worried about all the typecasting in the tags for this article. You guys are just asking to get bombed by the IRA!

Ah you must be a leprechaun you pesky little fellu'.

Re: despicable tags! (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387937)

"You guys are just asking to get bombed by the IRA!"

That isn't going to happen since it has since become knowledge that the IRA was being run by the a branch of British security, the Force Research Unit [www.iol.ie] ..

Re:Despicable tags! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387711)

and we haven't even yet discussed "how many Polacks it takes to build a Dell"

Re:Despicable tags! (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388007)

Easy: 1 to install Linux, 10 to try to make it just work.

Oh shit, forgot to post anonymously again!

Re:Despicable tags! (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388245)

i have more of a problem with using the tag 'story' - i mean could we have a less useful tag? are there any articles that couldn't get that tag?

I don't care who slaps together my inspiron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387527)

As long as it is cheap.

I have no problem with them finding the cheapest labor they can find, or building robots for all I care.

That's fine (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387591)

That's fine as long as you have a job to pay for it. If all the manufacturing and knowledge based jobs end up in the cheaper locations then can the Western Economies keep going. I know that many economists say that it is the beginning of the service economy, and we can all be rich in the west by buying and providing services for each other but I am rather skeptical. If a whole country consists of PR teams, lawyers, restaurant owners and so on can they really "generate" enough money to be able to buy their "real" things from cheap overseas sources?

Re:That's fine (4, Insightful)

Joey Vegetables (686525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387903)

The distinction between "manufacturing" and "service" jobs is somewhat artificial. Every step in the manufacturing process is a service. Finding raw materials is a service. Getting them out of the ground is a service. Refining them is a service. Transporting them from place to place is a service. Assembling them together into a finished product is a service. Making the machines to do so is a service. All of these are services; "manufacturing" is simply a convenient shorthand to describe those services whose end result is an assembled physical product, as opposed to the many other services whose end result is not.

Thus, the fact that we have a service-based economy is not in and of itself a problem, provided that our services are sufficiently valued in world markets to purchase the manufactured goods we need as well as the other necessities and wants of life. It is a problem ONLY if our skills, or the products that are created using those skills, are no longer sufficiently valuable to earn us the kind of living we want, in which case, the obvious remedy (which scales up) is to learn new skills.

Re:That's fine (2, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387939)

<quote>That's fine as long as you have a job to pay for it. If all the manufacturing and knowledge based jobs end up in the cheaper locations then can the Western Economies keep going.</quote>

I hope the textile industry never moves out of the united states.

I don't see how the US economy can keep going if all the woolen mills and shirtwaist factories shut down and take their jobs overseas.

Re:That's fine (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387983)

Don't forget hairdressers and telephone sanitizers.

Shit. DON'T GET ON THE SHIP!

-Peter

Re:That's fine (5, Insightful)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387997)

I guess one of the criticisms leveled at geeks is that they think they know everything...

So in that spirit, here's my "expert" analysis of world economic matters !

Isn't manufacturing computers just a service ? If you were Martha Stuart, you'd just get up early and grind-up the sand from the beach yourself to make your own CPU.

To my mind there's scant economic difference between a janatorial service and a manufacturing "service".

Furthermore; a janitor's job has to remain local and the janitor must be retained to keep the place sparkly, as opposed to a one-time manufacturing process for a durable item.

Janitors are an extremely high-value service, that's why so many of us have a personal computer built for us but don't have our houses cleaned for us.

Re:That's fine (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388041)

This whole thing should balance it's self out when energy prices rise to such an extent that you really need to shorten the distance things need to travel..

Re:I don't care who slaps together my inspiron (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387675)

Having spent over an hour and a half on the phone with Dell Canada on Monday just to get a quote (and a quote for twenty computers I might add), I'd say there is such a thing as "too cheap".

Re:I don't care who slaps together my inspiron (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387687)

I can't wait to see what happens when our economy takes such a nosedive, and unemployment becomes rampant that companies start moving jobs here since our labor is so much cheaper than china, india, taiwain, etc...

Re:I don't care who slaps together my inspiron (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388027)

I can't wait to see what happens when our economy takes such a nosedive, and unemployment becomes rampant that companies start moving jobs here since our labor is so much cheaper than china, india, taiwain, etc...

Actually our economy won't get that bad but a lot of economists were talking about what $200-$300/bbl oil would do to free trade. At a certain point it will become more expensive to ship goods than to just produce them here at home. The various economists and talking heads all disagreed as to what that point was but all agreed that it would happen sooner or later if oil prices had kept skyrocketing.

Of course the economic meltdown has dragged oil down but how long is that really going to last?

Re:I don't care who slaps together my inspiron (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388157)

It's called rural-sourcing, and it's why "import" cars are now made in places like Ohio and Alabama instead of Japan and Germany.

dom

Shorter commute (2, Interesting)

motek (179836) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387539)

I suppose it is only reasonable. Now all these Poles who already work there will have much a much shorter commute. Good for them.

The 'Celtic Tiger' is a big pussy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387561)

The move is a terrible economic body blow for Ireland, the former "Celtic Tiger" that was one of the first eurozone members to fall into recession amid the global downturn following last year's credit crunch.

"Dell will migrate all production of computer systems for customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa from Limerick to its Polish facility and third-party manufacturing partners over the next year," Dell said in a statement.

Dell, which has been hard-hit by the economic slowdown and increased competition, last month announced a major reorganisation of its worldwide operations.

The Dell factory in Limerick was set up in 1990 and was one of the jewels in the crown of Ireland's so-called Celtic Tiger economy, employing 4,500 people at its height.

Dell remains Ireland's biggest exporter, accounting for five percent of gross domestic product.

Sean Corkery, the company's vice-president of operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said of the Limerick closure: "This is a difficult decision, even more so since Rob Malda is a fucking faggot, but the right one for Dell to become even more competitive, and deliver greater value to customers in the region."

Dell said its "Global Innovation Solutions Centre" and other facilities would remain in Limerick despite the factory's closure, and it would continue to operate sales and marketing operations in Dublin.

Not the first time .. won't be the last (2, Interesting)

bossanovalithium (1396323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387569)

AOL was in Dublin for a long time, and they moved to Waterford, and then Waterford lost out. Soon the only tech place in Dublin will be eBay - if they count?

Re:Not the first time .. won't be the last (2, Informative)

D4MO (78537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387935)

Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Symantec, Oracle, Yahoo, Havok... I'm sure there's more...

The Race to the Bottom (3, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387589)

We the consumer, demand cheaper priced products, why should we be surprised when manufacturers look for methods of reducing their costs? You don't exactly see them firing up manufacturing plants in Tokyo or Manhattan.

It's a Global Economy, get used to it.

Re:The Race to the Bottom (4, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387751)

We the consumer, demand cheaper priced products, why should we be surprised when manufacturers look for methods of reducing their costs? You don't exactly see them firing up manufacturing plants in Tokyo or Manhattan.

Corporations also demand more profit. Reducing costs helps that bottom line. Whether moving manufactoring locations ends up positive on that bottom line or not isn't always clear at the outset.

It's a Global Economy, get used to it.

It's been a global economy for decades. That's not the change.

Numbers seem odd (1)

One Louder (595430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387593)

Is it really the case that a company that hires only 4300 people is the *second* largest corporate employer in Ireland? That 1900 people losing their jobs is a "severe blow" to the economy of an entire country? The population of Ireland is somewhere around 6 million - what does every *else* do there?

Re:Numbers seem odd (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387609)

The population of Ireland is somewhere around 6 million - what does every *else* do there?

Farm potatoes and brew Guinness.

Re:Numbers seem odd (5, Funny)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387807)

Farm potatoes and drink Guinness.

There. Fixed it for ya.

Re:Numbers seem odd (2, Informative)

Deag (250823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388059)

Well the Republic of Ireland is closer to 4 million (the north is part of the UK). There is about 2 million working I believe. 4 million - children - old people easily gives you that.
It says corporate employer so that rules out all public jobs. And in Ireland that means most education and health.

Most major companies would only have one major location in Ireland, so even the big ones are a few thousand. So it is easily believed. You'd only need a 1000 companies employing 2000 people to employ the whole country including the public workers.

Ireland would be the equivalent of a medium metro area in the US. Not many of those have many corporate employers employing more than 5k people I would guess, maybe Detroit?

Re:Numbers seem odd (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388145)

Not many of those have many corporate employers employing more than 5k people I would guess, maybe Detroit?

Not for long, Detroit won't.

Re:Numbers seem odd (1)

D4MO (78537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388123)

The population of the republic is nearer 4.5 mil. Most other "corporate" employers are smaller, high knowledge type jobs. The jobs that are lost are put-screw-in-hole assembly line work. Nobody thinks we can keep those kind of jobs. The problem is that the numbers are dramatic. Honestly I'd be much more upset if 50 scientists lost their jobs. In any case, Ireland had a 17 year run with that. I'd be surprised if Poland get half that with their plant. Manufacturing in 1st world is dying. Look at the US car industry....

customer service in Poland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387601)

wow that will increase the customer experience....
Hable Poland?

Good for Poland (5, Insightful)

exhilaration (587191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387605)

Poland has very high unemployment rate [boston.com] , one of the highest in Europe, and is also one of the poorest countries in Europe [propertywisebulgaria.com] .

I realize that this sucks for Ireland but Poland is in far worse shape and needs the jobs just as badly if not more.

Re:Good for Poland (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387857)

It sucks to give Poland a feather for its cap while it's under the thumb of such a pair of opportunistic bastards though.

Re:Good for Poland (1)

cathector (972646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387861)

> Poland .. is also one of the poorest countries in Europe

slight clarification:
that link says that Poland is one of the poorest countries in the EU.
i think Moldava and other European countries not in the EU may be poorer.

Re:Good for Poland (1)

MoellerPlesset2 (1419023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388125)

Poland does have high unemployment, and could certainly use the jobs more than Ireland. But it isn't one of the poorest nations in Europe.
The linked article doesn't state that either, it says that Poland has some of the poorest regions in Europe. That doesn't necessarily say anything about the country as a whole - The average Polish person (nationally) is better off than the average inhabitant of the USA's poorest counties.

Albania is the poorest in Europe, much poorer than Poland. All East-European countries (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova) are poorer. Most ex-Yugoslav countries (Slovenia and Croatia are about on-par), as are Bulgaria and Romania.

The common market will tend to smooth things out eventually. That's the point of it. Eventually it shouldn't matter if a factory is in Poland or Ireland, since Poles are free to work in Ireland and vice-versa.

This is a tough one! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387611)

What rhymes with Limerick?

...
he had such a limp dick
he sold plants in Limerick
and sales went right straight to Hell.

Real reason they moved to Poland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387641)

The Irish lost their recipe for ice.

Make 'em pay (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387645)

The fact is, since China has the unfair advantage of near-slave labor, the rest of the world as a whole needs to have stiff import tariffs to equalize this imbalance.

This really shouldn't be completely about the "world economy" and if it can be done cheaper in China, "why not"? It is completely fair to take into account other factors such as China's complete disregard for workers rights and environmental issues, not to mention truth in labeling with regards to all the poisons they put in food products.

Make 'em pay, it's the only way to get their attention.

Re:Make 'em pay (2, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387845)

It's just as completely "fair" to say "the hell with the rest of the world, we'll just make them locally".

Re:Make 'em pay (2, Informative)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387855)

The fact is, since China has the unfair advantage of near-slave labor, the rest of the world as a whole needs to have stiff import tariffs to equalize this imbalance.

Yeah! Because stiff tariffs worked out so well [wikipedia.org] in the past.

Re:Make 'em pay (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387869)

"Near slave labor?"

China has major human rights problems, but coerced labor in its manufacturing sector isn't one of them. They do seem to be responding well on environmental issues recently, and they took the consumer health / quality errors very seriously.

I see the trade imbalance driven by a deceptive ideology in the West that said that manufacturing was passe, that we could thrive with a "value-added" economy in which the West managed brands, did high-end conceptual work, produced "experiences", etc., while borrowing money to buy physical goods made elsewhere. Of course, it was nonsense, and the bill has come due. But this ideology was pushed hard by the people who benefited from it: the professional and managerial classes doing this supposedly "post-industrial" work, and the people who were funding them.

Re:Make 'em pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388189)

and they took the consumer health / quality errors very seriously.

Bullshit. They only address a *specific* issue when it is discovered by the victims. If no one complains, they just keep on pumping out the poison.

Have a look at this: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/specials/honey/ [nwsource.com]

Do you think China has come clean on this because of their own will?

Second largest employer? (1)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387669)

1900 doesn't sound like a lot in respect to being the second largest employer. I suppose not knowing the population of Ireland off the top of my head, I can't say for certain (I just looked, 6 Million). So I guess I'm still a little surprised that 1900 is the second largest employer. Am I wrong that that seems surprising?

On the side of people out of a job/paycheck, 1900 is terrible.

Re:Second largest employer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387745)

Well, 3 million work for the government, and the other 3 million are unemployed.

Re: second largest corporate employer? (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387841)

They mean DELL is the second largest external company to employ people in Ireland ..

POTATO FAMIN! (2, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387771)

Scares them, doesn't it. But they didn't learn; you don't put all your potatoes in one basket.

Re:POTATO FAMIN! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387891)

(Score:-5 Offensive)

Re:POTATO FAMIN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388049)

(Score:0) by Anonymous Coward

Looks like no one is willing to mod you down as you requested. Please take a moment to review our FAQ [slashdot.org]

Will they actually save money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387783)

That was my first thought. It costs money to build a new plant and move the equipment over there.

This could work well for Dell. The average wage is $850 a week in Ireland versus $157 a week in Poland. For two thousand employees, that's a $million a week saved in labour alone. Whatever the costs are for building a new plant and training new workers, they should be made back in a year or two.

Sources on wage figures:
http://www.cso.ie/statistics/indearnings.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3442329.stm

Less taxes. (4, Insightful)

diskis (221264) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387805)

The 10 year discount is up. That's why they are moving, and Dell isn't the only corporation doing this. Ireland has a low corporate tax, and discounts it even further for the first 10 years a corporation operates there.

This calls for an Irish Limerick (4, Funny)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387811)

There once was an old man of Esser,
Whose employment prospects grew lesser and lesser,
It at last grew so small
He had no job skills at all,
And now he's a college professor.

That's just economic development (1)

superskippy (772852) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387815)

This is economic development, and is good news, although I appreciate that it won't seem like that if you are one of the people laid off.

The reason Dell were in Ireland in the first place is because Ireland was the cheap labour centre of Europe. As they've developed, it's no longer true and their economy has been replaced by a knowledge economy. In many ways, cheap-ass manufacturing leaving your country because the labour is too cheap is a complement. Next, the same cycle gets to happen to Poland. Everyone moves low-skill factories there, the place develops, and then the staff get expensive so Dell will go somewhere cheaper again.

Re:That's just economic development (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388017)

How is it economic development if the economy suffers a setback every time one of these companies moves on?

Re:That's just economic development (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388127)

I think folks are concerned about the cyclic nature of said economic development---like Dell relocating to US for cheap manufacturing labor after Poland, etc.

Re:That's just economic development (1)

theredshoes (1308621) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388169)

I agree with you partially about economic development, but honestly it is about greed, corporate greed. And I have nothing against Dell. I use bought a new Inspiron. I have had great luck with Dell, so I stuck with those laptops. The only two computers that I ever bought that didn't go to shit after two years were Dell and Apple products.

And it isn't even that much of a savings or profit for Dell, what a couple percentage points to move their operations and exploit Polish workers instead of Irish workers? Honest hard working people will give what three to five to seven years of their lives and scrape by on a 30K max out? Yeah!!!!

When I read stories like this, all I think is, I better hold onto the potatoes I have, meh.

-It is easy to halve the potato where there is love.- Irish saying

Where are all the free market whiners? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387853)

Ireland has been the strong argument lately as to why the US needs to stop taxing business so much. How's this crow taste?

This is just more evidence to the idea that companies will always game the system because there will always be some country out there that provides them the opportunity. Should the US really restructure its tax base to compete with the ever expanding global market, or should we just admit that we've got more priorities to take care of than some smaller nations that can make these deals and just go about our usual routine?

Re:Where are all the free market whiners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388011)

Getting on their knees for the biggest corporatist porkfest in US history.

A good first start (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387955)

I think Obama mentioned that he wants to yank tax breaks away from companies that export jobs, and give breaks to companies that create jobs here in the U.S.

That's a good first start. But how about we start putting huge tarrifs on shit that should be made in the U.S. but is coming from Poland? Send a clear message that cheap labor isn't the best way to make money.

witcher fan? (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388065)

Do you think the Dell execs are fans of the Witcher series? That is just now making it to the US in translated form. Coincidence? I think not.

Oops, I forgot folks on here are probably all Tolkien loyalists. *sways hand* This is not the flamebait you're looking for...

Like the demotivational poster says... (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388129)

Those companies willing to go to the ends of the Earth for their employees usually find they can pay them a tenth of the salary.

I can't help but wonder how Dell would react if Ireland banned Dell computers. You know, this kind of game works both ways.

second largest (1)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388155)

RTA for once. What shocked me most is the fact that a company with only 4300 (local) employees is the second largest corporate employer. Wow ..... even my local ISP here employs already more people.

So, either that was a Washington Post journalist missing out one way or another (has happened before :), otherwise you start wondering.

Leeching? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388159)

Dell's closing is not a result of the economic downturn, but of a pattern all too familiar in the United States -- corporations' perennial search for cheaper labor.

Sure, I guess, but if this keeps happening, who will have enough money to buy what corporations are making? Maybe every employee should be paid in stock instead of cash, that way they are on the same footing as the investor?

banks to US; 'we've had a difficult season'....., (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388225)

so, the only hope for survival is if you give us more than we had to start with before we 'lost' it, & let us spend it like we did before, except more.

Dood, You'll Be Gettin' A Pink Slip! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388241)

Now fook off, ya gobshite!

Oncein Ireland, there was Dell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388261)

Once in Ireland there was Dell
Where many once worked, but that's all gone to hell.
For Dell is moving,
and thus proving,
You can screw everyone and still do well.
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