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Factory lockdown

Nearly 3,000 Malaysian staff affected by decommission of Western Digital factory

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In response to declining long-term demand for client HDDs, Western Digital has taken steps to rationalise its HDD manufacturing operations globally. The company will decommission its HDD manufacturing facility in Petaling Jaya, Selangor by the end of calendar 2019.

This transition will be executed in close collaboration with employees, customers, supply partners and other critical stakeholders. Additionally, about 3,000 Malaysian employees and close to 6,000 foreign employees will be impacted.

According to a statement, it said: “This transformation requires that the company take difficult but important actions, including optimisation of its large-scale manufacturing facilities located throughout Asia.”

“The market transformation is driving increased adoption of SSDs and NAND flash in traditional HDD applications. This has contributed to growth in SSD/NAND flash and declining long-term demand for client HDDs. Consequently, Western Digital plans to expand SSD manufacturing in Penang. The company is in the final stages of commissioning its second SSD facility in Penang, which will go into production in the coming months,” it continued.

When asked about outplacement support, Gouw Kim San, managing director of Western Digital (Malaysia), commented to Human Resources: “Impacted employees will receive assistance, including severance compensation, outplacement services and priority considerations for opportunities at our other Malaysian facilities.

“These facilities include our substrate manufacturing operations in Sarawak and Johor, our media manufacturing facility in Bayan Lepas, Penang, and our expanding solid state memory manufacturing operations in Batu Kawan, Seberang Perai, Penang.

“Western Digital remains firmly committed to Malaysia.  The company values and appreciates its 45-year history of partnership with the Malaysian government and looks forward to many more years of shared prosperity and success,” he concluded.

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