Wisconsin governor expresses doubts about Taiwan’s Foxconn job targets

Next May, only 1,500 employees are expected instead of 1,800: Evers

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Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Foxconn Group might only employ 1,500 people when its new plant in Wisconsin starts operations next May, the state’s governor told CNBC Tuesday (July 9).

The company’s founder, Kuomintang presidential contender Terry Gou (郭台銘), once promised at least 1,800 jobs by the end of 2020 and eventually 13,000 in return for US$4 billion worth of incentives.

Gou made the promises before he had resigned the chairmanship of his company and when a Republican, Scott Walker, was still governor of Wisconsin.

The new governor, Democrat Tony Evers, told CNBC in an exclusive interview that the Taiwanese company was once again likely to miss its targets. He also revealed that he had visited the factory site near the town of Racine in late June.

The company had given Evers “clarity” about its plans for the initial stage of its construction with the timetable, but the project was less ambitious than originally portrayed, CNBC reported.

The governor said he saw the pouring of concrete for what CNBC described as a “vastly scaled-down manufacturing plant” more than a year behind schedule. In addition, the factory will not turn out the large glass panels originally mentioned, but only glass for tablets and phones, according to Evers.

Foxconn said it was still committed to provide the promised employment and to go ahead with the development. Due to its failure to meet employment targets, the company has also missed government subsidies, the report said.