GlobalFoundries To Lay Off Over 100 In Essex Junction

Jun 21, 2018

Vermont's Department of Labor expects GlobalFoundries in Essex Junction to lay off about 5 percent of its workforce beginning this week.

That amounts to over 100 employees at the semiconductor company, according to state Labor Commissioner Lindsay Kurrle.

Kurrle said despite the layoffs, GlobalFoundries is still hiring certain positions in Vermont.

"Certainly, the fact that they're still hiring other positions, tells me it is their intention to stay here in Vermont,” Kurrle said.

Companies are required to notify the labor department when they lay off more than 50 workers. Kurrle said the company told her department last week that it has every intention of complying with that law.

In a written statement, GlobalFoundries spokesperson Steven Grasso confirmed the company this week began a “targeted workforce reduction” that aims to “improve our global cost structure and minimize redundancies that have accrued from previous mergers and acquisitions.”

The Essex Junction plant was among those acquisitions when GlobalFoundries took over IBM’s microchip division in 2015.

Grasso’s statement goes on to say many of the job cuts are “expected to come from a voluntary separation program." The statement adds that “a workforce reduction is challenging for any organization and we do not take this action lightly.”

While Grasso said the company is investing in its Essex Junction facility and recruiting new workers, he said: “Our hiring trajectory is increasingly constrained by external factors such as [electicity] costs.”

Grasso claimed those costs are significantly higher in Vermont compared to the company's site in Malta, New York.