Job cuts in Limerick as BD confirms downsizing

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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nick@limerickleader.ie

Job cuts in Limerick as BD confirms downsizing

UP to 30 jobs are to be lost in Raheen after it emerged BD is to close its manufacturing plant in the suburb.

Leader Business can reveal that the company – which earlier this summer announced 85 new jobs – is seeking to rationalise to just one outlet in Limerick.

As a result of this, the New Jersey headquartered firm will close its Raheen facility, and instead concentrate its activities in its research facility at the former Unigolf facility in Plassey.

Workers there focus on software, hardware and systems engineering.

It’s understood staff were called in last week to be told of the news that the Raheen site will close in September 2019.

There are 70 staff working in manufacturing in the firm, and it’s understood while between 20 and 30 jobs will go, the other workers will transfer​ across to Plassey.

Troy Kirkpatrick, company spokesperson for BD, confirmed the news, saying that the move has been made after one of the products manufactured in Limerick was discontinued.

“We did an assessment from a manufacturing perspective there, and it made more sense to move production to other BD facilities. What we have told employees is anyone whose position is potentially affected, we will try and find other work for them within BD,” he said.

He insisted there will be a transitional period of 12 to 18 months.

“No-one has received notice, or has lost their jobs as of yet. We are just letting them know of plans in advance, and giving them ample time to look for other jobs.  We are a large global company, we have manufacturing all over the world. One of the products made here was discontinued,” he confirmed.

However, Mr Kirkpatrick pointed out that over the last year BD had added 135 jobs in the Limerick area.

“There are 85 positions currently open,” he added, “When you look at the net effect, worst case scenario, the company will still be up net nearly 200 jobs in the last two years.”

Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan, who has expressed concern over an overreliance on American firms locally in recent weeks, said: “Obviously, you'd be worried about any job losses. Foreign Direct Investment is very important in Ireland, and very welcome in Limerick. But we cannot be totally reliant on it. We are subject to external shocks, and we might be getting two of them, with Brexit on one side, and Donald Trump and whatever he decides to do on the other side. We do need more focus on indigenous businesses.”

Founded in 1897, BD, or Becton Dickinson has had a presence in Ireland since 1964. It provides solutions that help advance medical research and genomics and enhance the diagnosis of infectious disease and cancer.