© cumypah dreamstime.com Electronics Production | January 15, 2013
Hemlock to lay off 400 employees
Hemlock Semiconductor announces layoffs, reduces production as a result of industry oversupply and international trade disputes.
Hemlock Semiconductor Group has announced that it will lay off approximately 400 employees in Michigan and Tennessee in the coming weeks in response to significant oversupply in the polysilicon industry and the threat of potential tariffs on its products sold into China. These actions will affect approximately 300 employees at Hemlock Semiconductor's Tennessee site and 100 at its Michigan site, as the company evaluates the longer-term impact of these conditions on its business. Should market conditions persist, these layoffs could become permanent. "This is a difficult but necessary decision to enable Hemlock Semiconductor to navigate the volatility in the polysilicon and solar industries," said Andrew Tometich, president of Hemlock Semiconductor. "The unresolved trade disputes among the U.S., China and Europe are a major factor in Hemlock Semiconductor's actions as the threat of tariffs on U.S. polysilicon imported into China has significantly decreased orders from China, which is home to one of the largest markets for our products." As a result of these decisions, Hemlock Semiconductor's Michigan site will continue to reduce production to align with current customer demand. The Tennessee facility, which is nearly completed with its construction phase, will maintain a minimum workforce focused on safely maintaining the site for eventual production. A number of factors will impact the exact timing of the start-up of the facility, including customer demand and resolution of the trade disputes.