Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North James Lawless has said the news that one of Co. Kildare’s largest employers is cutting its workforce comes as a major blow to the local economy.

Deputy Lawless made the comments after workers at HP were told that 500 jobs would be cut at its manufacturing plant in Leixlip.

“My first thoughts are with the staff at HP in Leixlip and their families. Today’s news is a devastating blow for them. HP has been a major employer in Kildare since it first opened its site in Leixlip in 1995. The company quickly grew in size and became a major employer in the region with thousands of people working in its manufacturing plant,” said Deputy Lawless.

“The staff must be must be given every support possible as decisions are made about voluntary redundancies. HP has been a major employer in Kildare for over two decades and many of the staff will have worked there for years. Everything must be done to ensure that they are offered redundancy terms that reflect their years of service and loyalty to the company.

“These job losses will undoubtedly have a wider knock on effect on the local economy. The Government needs to ensure that workers are given the support they need to find alternative employment. Many of the workers are highly skilled so I’m hopeful that they will be able to look for employment opportunities in businesses which are currently expanding in Kildare.

“Other workers will require support from the Government in order to upskill so that they can find alternative employment. We need to see a multi-agency approach to ensure that this occurs. I’m calling on the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor to sit-down with local representatives to discuss what needs to be done to support workers at this difficult time.”