Wed, Jan 21, 2009 - Page 12 News List

TSMC says it will not replace all staff after headcount cut

CONSIDERATIONS After sales figures fell last month, the company asked workers to take unpaid leave from this month to help cut costs

BLOOMBERG, WITH STAFF WRITER

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract manufacturer of chips, said it cut its workforce after the global recession lowered demand.

TSMC reduced its headcount through its annual review process and would not replace all employees who leave, Michael Kramer, a spokesman for the Hsinchu-based company, said by telephone yesterday. He did not provide figures.

Kramer declined to comment on a report that ran in the Chinese-language Apple Daily newspaper yesterday that said the company has already cut 300 jobs and will eliminate 700 workers from next month. The newspaper cited unidentified employees who had left the company.

TSMC on Dec. 1 lowered its forecast for fourth-quarter sales and profitability after shipments fell.

The company asked workers to take unpaid leave from this month to help cut costs. The chipmaker had 20,702 employees at the end of September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company’s shares fell 3.4 percent in Taipei trading to close at NT$39.60, the lowest in six weeks, compared with a 2.84 percent drop in the benchmark TAIEX index.

In response to news of TSMC’s staff cuts, Minister of Economic Affairs Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) said the government’s policy is to encourage companies to support employees during the economic downturn, the local business news Web site cnYes.com reported yesterday.

Yiin did not make a direct comment on TSMC and said companies might have their own management considerations on whether or not to retain employees’ jobs, cnYes.com reported.

But he said TSMC employees are talented and suggested the company should collaborate with its employees to ride out this difficult time, the report said.

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