Medtronic cuts 240 jobs as part of Ireland manufacturing move

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Medtronic has laid off about 240 workers from a cardiovascular division plant in Santa Rosa, Calif., in a plan to shift the work to a lower-cost facility in Galway, Ireland.

The round of layoffs may not be the last for the 900-employee plant, according to the Press Democrat. The layoffs at Medtronic are unrelated to the current recession, but part of its five-year plan to move manufacturing to Ireland, where tax rates are lower and the company already employs 3,000 people.

The Santa Rosa facility is expected to remain a hub for research and development, marketing, regulatory affairs and other operations, including a small amount of manufacturing.

Since 1999, when Medtronic acquired the vascular unit from Arterial Vascular Engineering, it has eliminated or moved more than two-thirds of the 3,000 jobs. Santa Rosa is headquarters for Medtronic's vascular unit, which makes stents and stent grafts for treating artery disease. Its vascular sales reached $395 million in the most recent quarter, up 20 percent over the prior year.