Exports of electrical and electronic products fell 35 per cent in Jan 2009
So Intel has started laying off workers in Kulim, according to The Edge:
KULIM: Intel Malaysia, which is closing two of its microchip production facilities in Penang — a move which will affect over 1,000 workers — has started laying off employees at its Kulim facility which has more than 3,500 workers.
Sources told The Edge Financial Daily that at least 16 people out of 26 employed in the department in charge of maintaining the three plants in Kulim were asked to leave yesterday.
According to a source, the workers were not offered a voluntary separation scheme or even asked if they wanted to leave.
“They were told their services were no longer needed and it was not restricted to any age group or hierarchy. The affected employees were technicians, supervisors and even managers.
“They are being paid a severance package of 1.5 months’ salary for every year of service,” the source said.
It is learnt that more employees from other departments would also be asked to leave in the coming days and months but their number could not be ascertained.
No choice, no VSS…
This is why you can’t always believe all the ‘spin’ you read. Recall what Guan Eng had said in this Bernama report on 22 January on the Intel plant closures.
Lim said: “There would not be any job losses for those working in Penang Intel as the multinational company is only consolidating its branches with its employees moving to Kulim.”
I guess he was only referring to “Penang Intel” and not Kedah (Kulim) Intel! He also mentioned the possibility of VSS.
And remember how Intel’s corporate affairs manager had spun it when she said that the workers would be offered comparable positions in Intel’s other Malaysian plants. Quote from a Star report:
“It is safe to say that the company has no plans to lay off any workers for now,” she said.
Very safe to say… with the emphasis on “for now”.
Meanwhile, Flextronics International, one of the world’s largest contract manufacturers, is reportedly shutting an assembly plant in Shah Alam and retrenching 1,382 workers.
The slump in the electronics industry is going to hit Malaysia hard: exports of electronic and electrical products plunged 35 per cent in January 2009, compared to the same month last year. Putting a rosy spin on such a dire situation is unhelpful and misleading.
Can we not begin thinking of alternatives to our export-oriented FDI-driven economic model?