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More on Atmel's restructuring plan

Posted: 30 Sep 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:redundancies  job cuts  restructuring plan 

Slightly after Atmel announced it would cut 180 jobs at its manufacturing site in Rousset, it is now the turn of Atmel Nantes to announce 30 job cuts from its staff of 250.

Late July, as Atmel reported its second-quarter results, the chipmaker said it was "commencing a consultation procedure with the works councils in France in relation to potential redundancies in the operations in Rousset and Nantes, France."

About a hundred of employees from Atmel Nantes gathered Wednesday (Sept. 24) to discuss the group's restructuring plan and its consequences, according to French newspaper Ouest France.

"Three departments will to be closed," deplored Denis Oziol, secretary of the workers' council.

"Eventually, the goal is to refocus the site of Atmel Nantes solely on research and development activities," explained Michel Sarrazin, spokesman for Atmel's management. "This restructuring plan is imperative to guarantee the durability of the site. The electronic component market is undergoing difficulties."

Employees at Atmel Nantes said their situation remains vague, even regarding the compensatory measures. For the time being, Atmel's management has offered training courses of about 2000 euros per person and the creation of an employment antenna, reported Ouest France.

Employees at Atmel Nantes are asking for a 23.000 euro bonus (a 26.000 euro bonus for executives) when made redundant. They also claim the payment of a monthly salary per seniority year.

Oziol told Ouest France that this restructuring plan will undoubtedly call another one. "The management conceals the fact. There will be more restructurings in the end. For now, we need to get directly in touch with Atmel Corporate to move forward."

In October 2005, Atmel agreed to sell its Nantes fab, a 6-inch wafer fab with a production capacity of 2500 wafers per week, to XbyBus, a France-based component supplier.

Atmel then said it would maintain a significant presence in Nantes with the design of microcontroller products for the automotive and industrial markets along with its space-related activities.

"We are pleased to be able to reach an agreement that will preserve many jobs in France," declared George Perlegos, chairman and chief executive of Atmel, at the time of the transaction. "Additionally, this is an important step in Atmel's plan to consolidate its manufacturing and reduce costs."

The Nantes facility employed 300 people.

Revenues for the second quarter of 2008 were Rs.1,810.32 crore ($420.9 million), up 2.4 per cent compared to Rs.1,768.60 crore ($411.2 million) for the first quarter of 2008 and a 4.1-per cent increase compared to Rs.1,738.49 crore ($404.2 million) for the second quarter ended June 30, 2007.

Net loss for the second quarter of 2008 amounted to Rs.21.08 crore ($4.9 million), or minus 0.43 paise ($0.01) per diluted share. This compares to net income of Rs.29.25 crore ($6.8 million), or 0.86 paise ($0.02) per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2008 and net income of Rs.3.01 crore ($0.7 million).

- Anne-Francoise Pele
EE Times Europe

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