PARIS — The Toulouse-based branch of Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (Austin, Texas) has faced protests from workers afraid of losing their jobs. In a discussion with Michel Abitteboul, communication manager for Freescale Toulouse, EE Times Europe has captured the other side of the picture that is the vision of the company.
As part of its transformation efforts, Freescale announced on April 22 its intention to close its 150-mm fab in Toulouse, comprising 800 employees, by the end of 2011 and to cease the Cellular Product activity by the end of 2009, numbering 236 employees. Freescale said it will continue to have operations at the site following these proposed actions.
Workers at Freescale's site in Toulouse have gone on strike eleven days ago to highlight their anger over redundancy terms.
Freescale Toulouse's spokesperson indicated: "Last week a strike began, driven by some unions and followed by a minor portion of the manufacturing employees—almost 15 percent of the facility employees."
Abitteboul stressed that Freescale Toulouse executive staff is committed to the ongoing dialogue and is willing to support the employees in order to help them find alternative employment. To reach this goal, the group has implemented various actions.
"We have announced our intentions as early as possible in order to help employees define their new professional path," stated Abitteboul, specifying that "an agency has been put in place to support employees and help them define their new career."
Moreover, he noted that the company will facilitate employees' training to improve their skills toward a new job. And, "in parallel, we are exploring the possible use of the Toulouse equipment and some of our skilled workforce in advanced technology development efforts."