Motorola slashes jobs in Texas, Japan

Motorola provided details on Thursday about its plan to lay off 9,400 employees this year, announcing that 1,200 to 1,300 manufacturing jobs in Austin, Texas, and Sendai, Japan, will be lost when the chip and communication-equipment maker closes facilities to consolidate manufacturing.

Motorola will close two of its four plants in Sendai. Wafer fabrication work from one Sendai plant will be moved to plants in Arizona and Scotland. Manufacturing operations from another Sendai plant will be transferred to a neighboring Sendai facility, said Scott Stevens, a Motorola spokesman.

Motorola will keep open two other Sendai-based facilities: a design research center and one of two manufacturing facilities operated by Motorola's Tohoku Semiconductors Co. unit, he said. The manufacturing facility that will remain open produces a diversified set of components for networking, telecommunication and transportation, Stevens said. The plant that will close produced proportionately fewer transportation industry components -- a stronger sector than Motorola's other product areas, he said. The closing plant also could not be reconfigured as flexibly as the one remaining open, and had smaller production capabilities.

Motorola's assembly and test unit in Austin will close and the final assembly work will move to Kuala Lumpur and Tianjin, China, Stevens said.

Motorola announced in December it would cut 9,400 jobs in 2001, including the elimination of about 4,000 positions in its Semiconductor Products Sector by phasing out manufacturing facilities. About half of the 4,000 job cuts in the Semiconductor Products Sector have been detailed: the 1,200 to 1,300 cuts announced Thursday for Austin and Sendai, and the 700 to 800 positions in Motorola's Hong Kong facilities, announced earlier this week, Stevens said. The other 2,000 jobs to be cut from the Semiconductor Products Sector will come from the sales and administration ranks, he said.

Wednesday, Motorola said about 120 senior executives will lose their jobs as part of the job cutting plan.

Motorola has made or announced 30,000 job cuts since the start of 2001, and will have eliminated 42,900 jobs and outsourced 5,500 employees by the end of 2002, the company said.

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