Early retirement for GlobalFoundries workforce

Longtime employees of GlobalFoundries are being offered early retirement. This scheme is valid across all the company's three semiconductor manufacturing units, including the one at Essex Junction.  The company put the blame on fickle chip markets for making such a decision. Jim Keller, the spokesman of GlobalFoundries, said that the industry goes through varied trade environments. He said that a few customers have delayed their respective orders. The company is stuck in a period when there is minimal business. The spokesman assured the media audience that everything is good at this point in time.

Ownership and employment

GlobalFoundries is under the ownership of the Abu Dhabi Government. The company has invested about $72 million over a spread of two years into the Essex Junction fab.

About 2,800 people are employed in Essex Junction fab. GlobalFoundries declined to say the number of jobs at stake. Keller said that all the three fabs must go for workforce reduction. The company's voluntary retirement program concentrates on support roles in finance, administration and sales, and also information technology. People who work in finance may also find themselves at risk.

The company believes that this can be made possible via a slew of early retirements combined with a number of assorted expense cuts. The spokesman did not discount the possibility of sacking employees.

The voluntary retirement program focuses primarily on support roles. These include sales, finance, administration and information technology. Only in New York plants do the fab floor operators are offered early retirement. The company spokesman said that operators are not under the firing target in the Essex Junction. Maintenance technicians and engineers are exempt from such early retirement schemes. This is valid across all fabs.

IBM deal

All was not gloom and doom even a few months before. GlobalFoundries, in February, had made the announcement that it will on-board 200 individuals in its Essex Junction facility. The jobs are scattered across jobs in engineering, information technology, production and manufacturing. The company spokesman said that only a few positions have been filled. He assured everyone present that those positions are not in the chopping block and most rightsizing would be carried out within long term employees.

The Essex Junction fab was sold by IBM to GlobalFoundries in July 2015. The deal was a puzzling one, with IBM paying GlobalFoundries to take control of the fab. For IBM, the fab was losing money. One part of the deal involves GlobalFoundries consenting to become IBM's sole semiconductor chips provider until 2025.

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