| Seagate Rehires Former Employees to Meet Demand
April 1, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) -- Seagate Technology is rehiring
former employees on a temporary basis after laying off more than
2,000 people in its Malaysia plants in February.
|The move is to meet last-minute product orders to be shipped by
June from its Prai assembly plant, said Penang Seagate Industries
(M) Sdn., Bhd. managing director Timothy Harris.
The company already has recruited 130 ex-staff by offering them
their last drawn salary for temporary employment of between one
and three months. It has another 170 more vacancies to fill.
Seagate Malaysia's manpower shortage was a direct result of a
global retrenchment exercise carried out in February that
triggered higher-than-expected attrition.
The company offered retrenchment benefits of between two months
and 12 months salary for those who resigned voluntarily. "After
the restructuring, the people who left were more than we
expected," said Harris.
As of Feb. 16, Seagate had laid off 1,791 Malaysia staffers and
400 Indonesians from its plants in Penang, Prai and Ipoh.
Seagate Malaysia, in an earlier statement, had stated it only
planned to cut 750 indirect staff from its payroll.
The layoffs were part of the 10,000 jobs Seagate planned to slash
worldwide in a bid to restructure operations after a shortfall in
The global disk drive industry is reeling from a supply glut,
weak demand and intense pricing pressures. Leading U.S. suppliers
Seagate, Western Digital Corp. and Quantum Corp. are facing stiff
competition from Asian suppliers Fujitsu Ltd., Samsung Group and
In December 1997, Seagate had announced it would shut down a
plant in Clonmel, Ireland and fire 1,400 workers, sparking fears
that Asian plants would be similarly affected.
Harris reaffirmed the company will not shut any of its Malaysia
plants. "Our plans to transfer additional high technology
products and processes into Malaysia also remain unchanged," said
Harris, who is also a senior vice president of the company.
Seagate Malaysia currently has a work force of 17,000.
The company discontinued head stack and head gimbal assembly
manufacturing as of February, but it continues to manufacture
disk drives in Prai and recording heads in Penang and Ipoh and to
assemble printed circuit boards in Johor.
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OR: (Julian Matthews, Asia BizTech Correspondent