Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) is transferring 360 Israeli employees to its new fab in Ireland. Intel had originally planned to send 60 Israelis to help begin operating the plant and most of those employees together with their families have already relocated to Dublin.
In recent weeks with the Irish fab requiring skilled staff to begin operations, Intel Israel was asked to send a further 300 employees. Most of these employees will relocate to Ireland by the end of the year. The employees have been told they will be required to remain in Ireland for 12-24 months.
The relocation of so many Israeli employees to help the Irish, albeit temporarily, maybe a source of national pride at the level of the country's high-tech skills, but it also rubs salt into the wound because Israel lost out in the race to set up the new Intel fab. In 2010, the Israeli government conducted tough negotiations over the grant offered to have the new fab in Israel and also insisted that it be set up in Bet Shean rather than Kiryat Gat. Intel preferred Ireland.
The lessons of 2010 have been learned and the Israeli government has agreed to give Intel a NIS 1.5 billion grant towards the $6 billion it will invest in its next generation fab in Kiryat Gat, which will employ an additional 1,000 people. Intel currently has 10,000 employees in Israel including 4,500 in Kiryat Gat. Most of the staff relocating to Ireland currently work in Kiryat Gat.
Meanwhile the Dublin Jewish community is gearing up to receive more than 1,000 Israelis when figuring in the family members of the Intel employees.
Intel told "Yediot Ahronot," "There is still no approval for the plan to relocate 360 employees. Some of Intel Israel's employees are already in Ireland on a temporary basis to learn, for professional training and to support the fab as is the practice for multinational companies. The decision to relocate employees is a professional and human resources necessity for Intel Israel employees assisting other plants. The employees are moving from Israel for a limited period with their families enjoying a pleasant new reality that will contribute to their professional and personal experience. It should be made clear that generally speaking this relocation is temporary."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 16, 2014
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