Agreement was reached overnight (April 9-10) between executives of memory chip company Micron Technology Inc. (Boise, Idaho) and union representatives meeting at the Ministry of Labour in Rome that effectively reduces the Italian job cuts from 419 to 48, according to reports.
The marathon negotiations went late into the night, but, with the help of STMicroelectronics, which has offered to take on up to 170 employees, a package was agreed that must now be voted on by the employees.
Early in the year Micron announced that 419 of its workers, many of them research engineers, at multiple sites in Italy would lose their jobs under a restructuring initiative intended to better align Micron's resources with where it has manufacturing and customers. This represented about 40% of Micron's Italian workforce. The consultation period expired on April 7 but under pressure from Italian and European Commission politicians negotiations went into extra time.
ST was under pressure to get involved because Micron's employment in Italy is partly as a result of the acquisition of memory company Numonyx NV in May 2010. Numonyx had been a memory joint venture between Intel and STMicroelectronics and therefore brought many former ST employees into Micron at sites in at Agrate Brianza (Milan), Arzano (Naples), Catania, and Avezzano.
The agreement reached in the early hours of this morning includes the cancellation by Micron of 85 of the job cuts, which together with 14 staff that have left during the previous months, reduces the number to 320. With STMicroelectronics prepared to take back up to 170 people, that number falls to 150. At the same time Micron has improved its offer of relocation for some workers with 40 jobs being opened up elsewhere in Italy and 62 positions abroad being accompanied by a €30,000 (about $40,000) incentive.
This leaves 48 workers who face unemployment but who are being offered 28 months' redundancy payment, the reports said. In the agreement Micron has confirmed that it plans to invest $20 million in Italy over the next three years, some reports added.
"We have identified a good solution, but we will be satisfied only when we have found the solution for all employment," Corriere Della Comunicazioni quoted Luca Maria Colonna, national secretary of the Uilm union, as saying.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.