800 French jobs to go at US-owned chip maker
Freescale announced that they would be shutting down some factories to remain competitive.
TOULOUSE – At least 800 jobs will be lost in the French city of Toulouse when US semiconductor firm Freescale closes a plant there, local union leaders told AFP on Thursday.
Freescale announced Wednesday that "in order to remain competitive and maintain an efficient manufacturing footprint" it would shut factories in Toulouse and in Sendai, Japan, by the end of 2011.
Workers in Toulouse were informed of the decision on Wednesday, labour representative Jean-Pierre Meerts of the UNSA union told AFP.
"It's a hammer blow for the personnel, who were surprised. There's no industrial action yet, it's too early, we're waiting for talks to begin with management," he added.
In recent weeks bitter and occasionally violent disputes have broken out at several French manufacturers over job losses and redundancy terms, as the world economic crisis batters demand.
Some 95 percent of the memory chips produced at Freescale's Toulouse plant are used in the motor industry, which has been badly hit by the downturn despite a multi-billion-euro government bail-out.
The chief executive of Freescale's French subsidiary, Denis Blanc, told the Depeche du Midi newspaper that the plant's chip technology was out-of-date and no longer able to turn a profit.
AFP / Expatica