Intel has started sending layoff notices to some of its Rio Rancho employees, but it has still not made clear how many employees will be affected at the plant. On Wednesday, an employee at the Rio Rancho facility showed a layoff notice to Action 7 News.
Intel not revealing full details
Intel plans to cut 12,000 jobs or about 11% of its workforce by mid-2017. In late April, the chip maker said that the employees who are losing their jobs would be notified within 60 days. The company has been refusing to discuss the plant changes or workforce at any specific company sites with reporters.
A layoff notice obtained by KOAT-TV stated that as of Dec. 31, the worker’s employment would be terminated “due to site closures or consolidation.” Currently, the Rio Rancho plant employs about 1,900 people, so layoffs were expected. The notice further said the “involuntary separations” would be permanent.
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“Nothing has changed as far as that official announcement,” Intel New Mexico spokeswoman Natasha Martell Jackson told the Albuquerque Journal when asked about the layoff notice. On Wednesday, Rio Rancho and state officials said that they have not received any notification of the plant closing.
Future viability of the plant in question
Last month, the Oregonian newspaper reported that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich told employees that they would not be closing any manufacturing sites, including its aging facility in New Mexico. The chip maker will shut down a small production facility in Jerusalem, however, and transfer most of the 170 people working there to a factory 40 miles away in the city of Kiryat Gat, the chip maker told Israeli media on Wednesday, reported the Oregonian.
In the last three years, Intel’s Rio Rancho plant has markedly slashed its workforce from about 3,300 employees in 2013 to about 1,900 now. According to careerinfonet.org, Intel’s Rio Rancho facility is one of the top 25 largest employers of New Mexico.
There are concerns about the future viability of the plant, given the older chip technology that’s produced in Rio Rancho. The chip maker is now working to produce next-generation 10-nanometer chips, while the Rio Rancho facility is still making 32-nanometer chips. Since 2009, the New Mexico facility has not received any significant investment upgrades. Intel began operating in New Mexico in 1980.
On Wednesday, Intel shares up 0.03% at $29.99. Year to date, the stock is down more than 14%, while in the last year, it is down by over 9%.