Scottish ex-Moto chip factory to close
Freescale swings the claymore
Chip maker Freescale will close its Scottish plant with the loss of hundreds of jobs, after failing to find a buyer for the facility.
About 750 highly-skilled manufacturing jobs will be axed at the East Kilbride site, along with up to 100 support roles. The 25-acre site was opened by Motorola in 1969.
Austin, Texas-headquartered Freescale was created in 2004 when Motorola spun out its loss-making chip division. It was picked up by private equity in December 2006 and has continued to haemorrhage cash.
The decision to close the plant comes after tumbling sales prompted a review of the plant's future last year, as part of business-wide cuts. The Herald reports the company said: "All options have now been fully examined and the only current option appears to be potential closure."
Freescale East Kilbride supplies the car industry, but has seen falling demand for chips fabbed using its outdated equipment. A spokesman said: "We anticipate that we will be shipping wafers out of the fab until at least Q2 2009." ®
Jobs jobs jobs!
lookee here ... http://careers.peopleclick.com/client_freescale/external/ola/JobSearchResults.xml?
Shall we all apply?
Lovely turn of phrase
"the only current option appears to be potential closure"
And the bell tolls for the English language once more.
The last time Freescale announced that they were closing the plant, there was uproar - people pointed out that they had been in receipt of millions of pounds of public subsidy in the recent past to keep it open.
One wonders whether someone looked at the minimum time they had to keep it open to avoid any payback, and whether we are seeing the result here.
It's been a condemned site ever since Moto left; they've just been squeezing the last drops of profit out.
Having been a victim of a (reasonably prominent) major redundancy programme, I feel for these folks. If they are indeed highly skilled, I wish them much luck and recommend frugality with any savings and/or redundancy payments they have, because like me, they will find that the much-discussed skills shortage is a myth.
"Line work isn't supposed to be skilled. It's supposed to be monkey work that anyone can do after a banana hand out session (i.e. training)."
Huh? Have you ever been in a semicon fab or an electronics manufacturing facility? Semicon fabs are amongst the most precise, expenisve and advanced facilities on the planet. They're fanatically highly controlled. Anyone "on the line" has to seriously know what the hell they're doing or chip yield plummets.
Even somewhere making electronics, your average line worker is hardly a McD Employee. Take soldering. Yes, any monkey can solder, but to do it well (ie to a MINIMUM standard of IPC610 or J-stnd-001), not fuck up a board and do it all day in a consistent manner, that takes training and practice which roughly approximates what we all call skill.
Just because these line workers are not skilled IT specialists doesn't been they aren't skilled.
Can you please avoid dissing manufacturing in this country - it's got enough problems without people like you demeaning it as "monkey" work.
Writing on the wall...
I worked at the EKB wafer fab plant 11 years ago, just around the time that Moto were talking about upgrading part of that plant and moving the older plant equipment out to one of the Eastern European Countries (can't remember exactly which one, not too important though). Unfortunately the vast majority of the 'highly skilled workforce' completely missed the overwhelming odour of coffee known as "Costa-lessa-wages", and the rest, including the now abandoned ex digital fab plant at South Queensferry, and the never kitted out 'white elephant' outside Dunfermline, is history. Sadly EKB appears to have followed suit now, and "Silicon Glen" is now all but closed.