Motech to further cut manpower after migrant worker layoffs

Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) Solar cell maker Motech Industries Inc. will further scale down its workforce by about 2 percent as it copes with challenges facing the solar industry after announcing last week it would terminate the employment contracts of 300 migrant workers.

In a statement Tuesday, Motech said it is facing severe challenges and difficulties in the solar industry and is dealing with them by taking initiatives to streamline its organization and adjust its corporate strategy.

It said that in view of current operating conditions, it would downsize its support staff to lower costs and improve its overall competitiveness, the statement said.

Estimating that the plan would affect about 2 percent of its workforce, or about 60 employees, Motech called it a "painful decision" but stressed it had to move forward with the adjustment because of the rapidly changing and uncertain market.

What the company has done is "to optimize our resources and improve our operational performance steadily," the statement said.

After the layoffs, the company will still employ about 2,600 people, according to Motech, and it anticipated its results will improve in the fourth quarter.

Motech has suffered massive losses because of plunging product prices in the solar energy sector and changes in the market, reporting a NT$3.12 billion (US$101.7 million) loss in the first half of 2018, compared with a NT$1.86 billion loss the same period a year earlier.

It had a loss per share of NT$5.84 for the Jan.-June period, up from a loss per share of NT$3.50 in the same six months in 2017, according to its financial reports.

Tuesday's announcement was just the latest in a series of decisions indicating the problems the company is facing.

Last Monday, the company announced its termination of the employment contracts 300 migrant workers to strengthen their human resources management and make fundamental corporate changes.

The 300 employees mainly work on assembly lines in Taiwan, the Tainan-headquartered company said in a statement released on Sept. 17.

In June, Motech suspended its crystal growth operations at the Southern Taiwan Science Park. The crystal growth process is necessary to produce silicon wafers, the key material for the production of solar cells.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel