As GlobalFoundries warns of impending job cuts, the employees express frustration

By the end of September, things were looking up for GlobalFoundries as it finished the quarter with a 22% gain in revenue over the previous year. In October, the company received more good news. At a news conference outside its massive plant in Essex Junction attended by US Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. , the company announce $30 million in federal funding to develop advanced chips. Ten days later, it is received state approval To form its own public utility to save electricity costs.

Then, less than two weeks ago, a sudden fluctuation in market forces led the global company to announce to its roughly 14,000 employees that layoffs were in the pipeline.

Market volatility, and GlobalFoundries’ unexpected announcement, has Vermont employees at the chipmaker wondering if their jobs are at stake. The uncertainty comes as higher interest rates seem to be affecting the labor market. Last week, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a small increase in Vermont’s unemployment rate in October, from 2.1% to 2.3%. It was the first increase since January 2021.

GlobalFoundries CEO Thomas Caulfield said in a video distributed to employees on November 11 that the company will present a more complete and comprehensive plan at a company-wide online meeting at the end of the month. Two employees told VTDigger that the meeting is scheduled for December 1.

Employees received the video just days after Caulfield, on a call with Wall Street analysts, reported the company’s stellar performance in the third quarter. On that call, he also warned that the company will have to start cutting costs as demand for semiconductors slows.

Mixed messages were not lost on the company’s Vermont workers.

“My co-workers and I are frustrated and annoyed that the company has been bragging about profits for the past two years and in the event of the first downturn it has to cut jobs,” said one employee at the Essex Junction plant.

This employee and one other person spoke to VTDigger on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution for speaking up for their employer.

“Couldn’t any of these huge profits be used as a bridge to keep employees informed about the payroll?” asked the first employee. “It seems an incredibly short-sighted decision that feels offended after so much talk of big money.”

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