Wacker Announces Plan To Slash Over 1,000 Jobs

In Preparation For Harsher Competitive Environment Wacker Chemie To Cut Down Over 1,000 Jobs By 2022-End To Save €250 Million Annually
10:44 AM (Beijing Time) - 22. February 2020

Key Takeaways

  • Wacker Chemie will be scrapping jobs for over 1,000 employees by the end of 2022
  • Most of these job cuts will be in administrative departments and direct, non-operational functions of its business divisions
  • This measure should help it with €250 million in cost savings annually

Anticipating a ‘harsher competitive environment’ for its polysilicon and chemical divisions, German chemical company Wacker Chemie will be letting go of more than 1,000 jobs by the end of 2022 in an effort to become ‘more efficient and capable’ and achieve annual cost savings of €250 million ($270 million).

The jobs cuts will take place in administrative departments and the indirect, non-operational functions of its business divisions with more than 80% jobs to be cut from its German site. It plans to offer retirement, semi-retirement and severance agreements to the affected employees and says if these measures are successful, it won’t be going in for compulsory lay offs.   

This exercise is the first phase of the Bavaria-based company’s ‘Shape the Future’ strategy under which it aims to become leaner and profitable to secure a long term competitive-edge. 

After analyzing the status quo thoroughly, we have now presented our first outline of Wacker’s new structure to employee representatives. Together, we will discuss and evaluate our ideas further,” said Wacker’s Executive Board member Christian Hartel. “We will continue to work closely on this with employee representatives and enter into constructive negotiations promptly. We are confident of finding good and fair solutions to achieve our objectives.” 

With €760 million impairment charge on polysilicon, Wacker expects to report a net loss of €630 million for 2019 as polysilicon sales for the year are likely to drop 5% on annual basis. Last month the management said it is working on a comprehensive program to make the company more efficient and capable (see Wacker Expects €630 Million Net Loss In 2019).

The news about Wacker’s mostly silicon related issues comes as other non-Chinese solar silicon manufacturers have decided to pull the plug for their loss-making solar polysilicon operations. Korea’s chemical company OCI is reportedly starting its shut down already this February, affecting 52,000 tons of capacity (see Korean Solar Polysilicon Production No More For OCI). And another Korean company, Hanwha Solutions’ will shut its 15,000 tons annual polysilicon production capacity by the end of the year (see Hanwha To Quit Korean Polysilicon Business)

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani