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EETE FEB 2014

Micron preps Italian job cuts By Peter Clarke Micron Technology Inc. (Boise, Idaho) is set to cut about 420 jobs out of more than 1,000 in its Italian operation, according to local reports. Italian unions started to protests about possible job cuts in September 2013. The protests came shortly after the sale of Micron’s Avezzano wafer fab to LFoundry GmbH in the middle of 2013 and after Micron’s acquisition of Japan’s Elpida Memory Inc. in July 2013. It is reported that the cuts are part of a 5 percent job reduction plan announced in August 2013. Micron’s level of staffing in Italy is largely a result of its acquisition of memory company Numonyx NV in May 2010. Numonyx had been a joint venture between Intel and STMicroelectronics and therefore brought a lot of former ST employees into Micron at sites in at Agrate Brianza (Milan), Arzano (Naples), Catania and Avezzano. According to an Evertiq report, which referenced Italian Ansa as its source the job cuts are set to be 223 in Agrate Brianza; 128 in Catania, 53 in Naples and 17 in Avezzano. Micron benefited from strengthening memory chip prices in 2013 and swung back into profit. The company made a net income of $358 million on sales revenues of $4.04 billion in its first fiscal quarter of 2014, which ended on Nov. 28, 2013. The Micron cuts appear to be part of a trend across the semiconductor industry as chip companies return to profit after the global economic collapse post-2008. Several companies including, Intel, Texas Instruments and Renesas Electronics are continuing to cut their workforce as they seek to re-align themselves to changing markets. Micron Technology said it is in discussions with the Italian government and trade unions over job cuts, however, those discussion also appear to focus on whether Micron will pay sacked workers severance payments or not. The company says it wants to move support closer to manufacturing sites and R&D centers that are now in United States and Asia, and that this is the purpose of a reorganization plan announced internally by Micron in August 2013. The action is expected to reduce Micron’s global work force by less than 5 percent through the end of fiscal 2014. In 2013 Micron sold its wafer fab in Avezzano, Italy to LFoundry GmbH although much of its employment at multiple sites around Italy results from its acquisition of memory company Numonyx NV in 2010. The reducing significance of NOR memory and Micron’s dropping of phase-change memory products could also have had a bearing on its Italian job cuts. The workforce is being reduced through a combination of natural attrition, voluntary redundancy and job cuts, the company said in a statement. It added that it is being done so that Micron has resources in the right places to best address customer needs and maintain competitiveness. C M Y CM MY CY CMY K A spokesperson for Micron said the company isn’t discussing specifics per site but did not deny previous estimates of about 420 jobs going in Italy. “Micron’s restructuring plan in Italy is aimed at aligning Micron’s workforce to its business needs while continuing to leverage the contribution of key Italy-based teams working on current product and technology that do not require proximity with manufacturing sites and customer headquarters.” the spokesperson said in email correspondence with EE Times Europe. The spokesperson added that Micron will work through formal collective layoffs procedures but that it could not give information on the support measures for employees being forced to leave the company as they are the subject of the discussions with trades unions and the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. Support measures would conventionally include severance payments and outplacement services to help workers find alternative jobs. 16 Electronic Engineering Times Europe February 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE FEB 2014
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