There is no joy among workers at Dell’s factory here over the global computer giant’s decision to shift production from Ireland to Poland but as the economic crisis bites they are relieved their jobs are safe.
"We understand it’s a blow to people in Ireland — we Poles have also suffered high unemployment — but it’s difficult not to be a little bit selfish in this (economic) situation," says Bartosz, a 23-year-old Dell employee and IT student waiting for a bus home outside the vast plant after a shift.
As he gazes down from a balcony overlooking the factory’s state-of-the-art assembly lines, Rafal Branowski, communications manager for Dell Poland, says it is unclear how many of the 1,900 Dell jobs lost in Limerick will come to Poland.
The size of five football pitches, the giant factory’s three lines employ 1,800 people assembling built-to-order laptops using Asian-made components for clients in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
"The decision to transfer production from our Irish plant in Limerick here to Lodz and third parties is part of a plan to save three billion dollars," says Branowski.
Pressed, he admits at least one new production line for desk tops and servers creating upwards of 300 jobs is likely to begin operation within a year.
With salaries on the factory floor averaging 1,500 to 2,000 zlotys (345-460 euros, 445-590 dollars) per month, labour costs in Poland are a fraction of those in Ireland.