Feeds

Workers make cancer claims in NatSemi job cuts factory

Greenock sheds 700 staff

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

National Semiconductor is axe 700 jobs at its Greenock manufacturing plant, reducing the 1,500 workforce by almost half. Sources close to the company blamed the job cuts on this years semiconductor price drops: “Some of Natsemi products are going out at less than a penny,” said Sukh Rayat, general manager at Flashpoint UK , a distributor of NatSemi Cyrix processors. “Prices have fallen further and have lasted longer than anyone could have expected.” National Semiconductor has operated a plant in Scotland’s Silicon Glen for more than 25 years. At Greenock, the company makes a wide variety of ICs (integrated circuits) for incorporation into consumer electronic systems, and power management and automotive systems. NatSemi’s Greenock plant has come under fire, following a spate of cancers, birth defects and miscarriages recorded among female workers past and present. A group of 75 women have banded together to press claims that exposure to dangerous chemicals at NatSemi Greenock were to blame for miscarriages or cancer. NatSemi rebuts the claims. The company had never exposed employees to chemicals above legal limits, Edward Sweeney, VP of human resources told the Wall Street Journal. “We have seen no pattern of abnormalities at that plant”. Chips don’t cause abortions, according to a controversial study published in March by the UK Health and Safety Executive. It found that the miscarriage rate for women working in semiconductor plants was, at 10 per cent, lower than the 12 per cent average for the UK population at large. "The industry and people working in it should be reassured by the results of this investigation," said Dr. John Osman, the HSE's head of epidemiology, at the time. The findings appear to contradict earlier US studies which showed higher than average miscarriage rates among fab plant employees. The US reports are not necessarily wrong, according to the HSE, which points out that the use of several chemicals in semiconductor manufacture has been banned in the last few years. These include glycol ether-based solvents, which are known reproductive hazards for women, and phased out of the semiconductor industry only from 1993. NatSemi’s job cuts come as another hammer blow to the UK governments policy to encourage inward investment by overseas chip companies. More than 3,000 job losses in the sector have been announced in recent weeks. US Company Viasystems last week announced 900 job cuts with the closure of two factories in the Scottish Borders. In the North East, Siemens is close to shutting down its DRAM manufacturing plant, after failing to come to terms with a prospective buyer( a French –led consortium. Up to 2,000 more jobs at external suppliers are thought to hinge on the closure. Fujitsu last month announced that it would close down its DRAM plant sited in Prime Minister Tony Blairs Sedgefield, Co. Durham constiruency , with the loss of 500 jobs. ® Click here for more stories

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.