I propose to take Questions Nos. 10, 12 and 91 together.
I met Amdahl Corporation on 16 March during the course of my recent industrial promotion schedule in the United States. At that time the company outlined its difficulties due to highly competitive pricing in the mainframe computer market. The company indicated that if the market did not pick up it might then become necessary to look at a reduction in the Swords workforce. Since that meeting, Amdahl announced losses of $240 million for the first quarter of 1993. The company now finds itself in a situation that, to ensure its continued survival, it must reduce production capacity with resultant consequences on staff numbers. Amdahl is in the process of cutting 1,200 jobs from its 8,700 workforce worldwide. As the plant in Swords is Amdahl's only manufacturing operation outside the United States, it is inevitable that Swords would have to bear some of the cutbacks.
During my meeting with Amdahl, we also discussed the possibility of the company introducing some non-manufacturing activities to the Swords plant and this is being actively pursued.
All segments of the electronics industry are kept under constant review and future assessments as to potential and risk are made regularly both by my Department and IDA in conjunction with outside analysts. Digital and Amdahl operate in the mainframe computer market. Although this market is currently depressed, as personal computers and network systems are becoming more adaptable and price competitive, mainframes are here to stay for the foreseeable future. However, there is excess capacity and companies have been responding to this through restructuring.
Other areas of the computer industry, such as personal computers, continue to show strong growth up to and beyond 1996, as new applications are devised. Likewise, microprocessor, semi-conductor networking and telecommunications companies involved in electronics are preforming extremely well. Companies engaged in these growing sectors are well represented in Ireland. We will continue to seek to be in the growth segment of the market to maximise employment.