Intel Penang plant closures may hit 2,000 workers

US CHIPMAKER Intel Corp's proposed move to close two factories on Penang island is set to affect around 2,000 workers.

However, they have been told that efforts will be taken to find alternative employment within Intel, Business Times has learnt.

It is not known when Intel is likely to cease operations of its PG6 and PG7 plants where manufacturing activities take place.

Intel's Penang operations are currently home to an estimated 6,000 workers, while its Kedah site at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park employs around 4,000 people.
Intel's investment history in Malaysia can be traced to 1972 when it began its operations in Penang.

Industry sources say that the remaining six plants in Penang will continue to operate in areas such as product development and support services such as information technology, finance, human resources and call centre activities.

The Kulim operations, meanwhile, will take on the role as one of Intel's global manufacturing hubs for assembly and test manufacturing.

It is learnt that affected employees in Penang were briefed on the new developments yesterday. They were told that Intel wants to keep all its workers by offering them jobs at Penang or Kulim.

An Intel Malaysia spokesman when contacted said the company will release a statement today.

The developments at Intel Penang comes close on the heels of its announcement in the Philippines yesterday, where it plans to close its manufacturing facility in Cavite. This will result in some 3,000 people being laid off.

Intel began its operations in the Philippines in the early 1970s.

The company is expected to announce the closure of several more facilities in the region in the following weeks as Intel continues to cut costs. - By Marina Emmanuel (Business Times)

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