As the Covid-19 outbreak has worsened in Europe, semiconductor manufacturers have had to examine the health issues and risk factors for their workers.
Most of Europe is under lockdown, paralyzing the economy and daily life of hundreds of millions of people. PSA Group, Renault, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, Ferrari, among other car manufacturers, have suspended production at their manufacturing sites across Europe. French tire maker Michelin has shut down its factories in Italy, Spain and France. Airbus has paused its production and assembly at facilities in France and Spain, in accordance with countries’ strict Covid-19 lockdowns. The list of companies with manufacturing operations is getting longer every day, and semiconductor companies are not spared.
As of March 17th, France imposed strict Covid-19-containment rules, compelling most companies to embrace remote working and take necessary measures to preserve the health and safety of their employees. STMicroelectronics then announced it was adjusting the organization of its front-end and back-end manufacturing operations at its French plants. These temporary measures could concern up to 50 percent of its manufacturing staff.
Contacted by EE Times, ST confirmed it had agreed to reduce the number of people on its French production sites as much as possible. “After generalizing remote working, the company is adapting to the evolution of the situation to continue to preserve the health and safety of staff present on premises,” said Alexis Breton, ST’s head of corporate external communications.
The agreement, signed by ST’s management as well as CFE-CGC and CFDT trade unions, impact all production sites in France. “An agreement was signed with social partners for a temporary adaptation of the organization of front-end and back-end manufacturing operations as well as support operations in Crolles, Grenoble, Rennes, Rousset and Tours,” Breton said. “This temporary adaptation, individualized for each site, might include up to 50 percent of manufacturing staff from March 19 to April 2, combining maximum safety conditions for staff on the premises and business continuity.”
Other media concluded from their reading of the agreement that ST would cut by up to 50 percent production in France. “It is not the same,” said Breton. “It’s always more complicated than crude headlines.” But then what’s the real impact of this 50 percent workforce adjustment on the overall production? Can all production lines operate or is the company prioritizing one business over the other? How is it affecting its customers? And what about the new GaN pilot line due to be installed at its Tours plant in 2020? Unfortunately, all those questions remained unanswered.
For the full article, please go to EETimes.