Green Energy Technology to lay off employees, cites poor solar market

The solar battery wafer and ingot provider has continued to record net losses


(Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Green Energy Technology Inc. (綠能科技股份有限公司) employees told the media today that the company was laying off 20-30 workers due to the poor solar market.

In addition to laying off manufacturing staff, the company, which manufactures silicon wafers and ingots for solar power batteries, reportedly laid off a female manager at the factory, Apple Daily reported. Following the layoffs, the company has 400-500 employees in Kaohsiung.

Green Energy Technology spokesperson Chen Ting-ting (陳婷婷) said that the solar market is not ideal in the first quarter of this year and will continue on a similar path in the second quarter. Therefore, the company has sought to restructure at its Taoyuan and Kaohsiung facilities based on individual performance and other factors. The plan is to reduce staff by about 3 percent.

Despite the layoffs, the company may seek raises or bonuses for employees who remain during the difficult economic situation.

Chen added that the female executive-level employee’s termination had nothing to do with gender issues and allegations related to gender discrimination are baseless.

According to the company’s fourth quarter financial statement, it recorded a net loss of NT$591 million (US$19.5 million) on NT$2.69 billion in revenue, an improvement from the net loss of NT$971 million in the previous quarter. Green Energy Technology’s gross margin in the quarter improved to -12 percent from -31 percent in the third quarter of 2016.

The Southern Taiwan Science Park in Kaohsiung confirmed the layoffs at Green Energy Technology and acknowledged that if the company had planned to lay off more than 5 percent of its workforce it would have had to notify the science park 10 days in advance. As administration at the science park did not receive notification, it assumes that layoffs accounted for less than 5 percent of the workforce at Green Energy Technology.

The science park also noted that this was not the first time the company has laid off staff since establishing a facility there, but even the previous round of layoffs were not significant.