Fujitsu to shutter operations in Republic of Ireland

In wake of Post Office Horizon scandal, global execs set new profit target, and Irish ops fell short

Exclusive Fujitsu is effectively shuttering business operations in the Republic of Ireland and opening consultations with employee representatives before the majority of the workforce is made redundant.

The devastating blow for employees comes in the wake of the mega scandal that saw local branch managers working for the Post Office blamed for errors in the Horizon system that was installed by ICL, which Fujitsu later bought. The system miscalculated daily takings. The Post Office suspected foul play and demanded those local branch managers make up the shortfall personally.

Hundreds of those Post Office employees were wrongly convicted of fraud, some attempted suicide, with sadly four cases resulting in death, and 33 have since died and are unable to see justice served. Fujitsu has said it will compensate victims.

Adam Trill, Fujitsu's head of Ireland, told staff at the Dublin-based HQ last night that operations in Ireland are ceasing.

A person close to the matter told The Register: "Skeleton staff will remain to fulfill the existing contracts until their natural expiry. No new bids are allowed. A lot of people are being made redundant, except some in the Delivery teams to keep the lights on for the next year or two.

"There is a sentiment within teams that 'someone had to pay for the UK's Post Office farce.'"

The official reason ventured is that Fujitsu has now set a 10 percent profit margin target across the group. Ireland was below this figure and so is no longer seen as a "viable business."

Industry estimates suggest around 200 people worked for Fujitsu in Ireland, a figure the company has not officially confirmed. It is not clear how many will be retained to service existing contracts.

A Fujitsu employee added: "I feel it is a great injustice to people who invested their lives in the company, lived through decades of ups and downs, seen worse times and survived, and are now being let go, irrelevant of whether their projects have been generating revenue or not. And the entire entity known as 'Fujitsu Ireland' is being shut down."

Timing for all of this is up in the air, sources told us.

In a statement sent to The Register, a spokesperson for Fujitsu said: "Following a thorough review of the business performance and market outlook in Ireland, and in alignment with Fujitsu's global strategic direction, it is with regret that Fujitsu does not plan to pursue new business in the Irish market.

"Going forward, Fujitsu plans to refocus its Irish operations on the fulfilment of its existing customer contractual commitments. These plans are subject to consultation with employee representatives and Fujitsu will be providing support for all those affected in the coming months." ®

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