31/07/2001

NEC shed 600 jobs as memory chip production halts

NEC has confirmed that the company is to axe 600 jobs at the firm’s semiconductor production facility in Scotland.

Despite an £80 million investment made last year and a restructuring plan that had aimed to keep up production of the chips used in home computers, a collapse in the market price has prompted NEC to pull out of the market altogether.

The jobs cuts at the Livingston plant in Scotland are part of a major redundancy package that will see 4,000 jobs cut worldwide in an effort to keep the company’s restructuring plan on track.

Management at NEC said that they deeply regretted the decision but added that the situation was the worst that the industry had ever encountered.

NEC has recently experienced a huge drop in profits as the electronics sector suffers a massive downturn. The Scottish plant was responsible for the production of around one fifth of he industry’s DRAM chips. Once a lucrative proposition massive overproduction and a drop in the quantity of these chips has seen prices plummet from a $15 high to under $2.

The cutbacks at the NEC plant, which at its peak employed 1,600 workers, is yet another blow for the West Lothian region which this year has already seen 3,000 jobs lost in April when Motorola closed a mobile phone production plant. (SP)

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