A new entrant into the layoff clubÂ is Abbott Laboratories, which says it's cutting 1,200 jobs in Ireland and California. Some 500 workers will be laid off from a stent-making factory in Galway, Ireland. Another 700 jobs will be cut from a facility in Temecula, California.Â Abbott employs about 65,000 people worldwide, so these layoffs represent less than 2 percent of its workforce. The company plans to take a charge against fourth-quarter earnings for the cuts.
The layoff announcement met with consternation in Ireland, where Abbott now employs about 3,400. Closing the Galway plant will have "major consequences" for the economy there, officials said, calling the layoffs there a "cruel blow." Some politicians called for the Irish government to invest in the Galway region to counteract the effects of the cuts; others want the government to reverse business-tax increases so that Ireland can attract more foreign investment.