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KTVB reports this morning that workers have been seen leaving Micron Technologies carrying boxes to their cars. Asked to confirm, Micron’s media relations department gave NewWest.Net/Boise this statement: “Micron is pursuing a number of initiatives to drive greater cost efficiencies and revenue growth across its operations. These initiatives include developing production cost efficiencies closer in location to Micron’s global customers, evaluating functions more efficiently performed through partnerships or other outside relationships and reducing the company’s overhead costs to meet or exceed industry benchmarks.

Boise: Micron Layoffs Begin

KTVB reports this morning that workers have been seen leaving Micron Technologies carrying boxes to their cars.

Asked to confirm, Micron’s media relations department gave NewWest.Net/Boise this statement:

“Micron is pursuing a number of initiatives to drive greater cost efficiencies and revenue growth across its operations. These initiatives include developing production cost efficiencies closer in location to Micron’s global customers, evaluating functions more efficiently performed through partnerships or other outside relationships and reducing the company’s overhead costs to meet or exceed industry benchmarks.

With extreme declines in pricing for Micron products, the company must examine its overhead cost structure to effectively compete in key markets. Micron is taking a critical look at what components are the right fit in this business environment. Through this assessment and in line with the company’s initiatives to drive greater cost efficiency and revenue growth across its operations, we’ve determined that some workforce reductions in certain areas of the business will occur as we realign the business. Workforce reductions are always difficult, but these initiatives are being pursued to support the long-term global viability and competitiveness of the company.”

Several Boise online forums have been carrying sometimes contentious discussions about the Micron layoffs. Here are five random comments from one site:

Dave in Boise: No one should get laid off from micron that is a shift worker until all of the first shift fat and good old boys get the axe first. There is no reason to punish the worker bees for the queens ineptitude.

Economics 101 wrote: Business is about making a profit. That means you have to make your product for less than what you sell if for. Micron’s gross margin went from 25% to 8% in one quarter because of memory prices, and not because of management ineptitude (as so many of you believe). What is a company supposed to do when this happens?

Still at Micron For Now: It amazes me how so many people that have benefited from Micron can turn against it in such a short time. Micron did not get to where it is by exploiting its workers. If you think about it, you’ve been treated pretty well. Sure, there have been tough times, but we’re in a very, very tough industry and Micron is the last one standing in this country. I may be laid off this week, but I’ll thank Micron for being good to me an my family while I was a part of their team, and then I’ll move on. Perhaps some of you should do the same.

California Carl wrote: I’ll bet you are gone within the next 6 months. Can you say “cheap labor”? Can you say “out-sourcing” Good luck to you oh “holier than thou”. You really cracked me up. Look into the Agilent lay-offs that occured in CA around 2004-2005. You’ll see, you too are doomed. At least Agilent gave thier soon to be ex-employees a decent notice and a good severance pacage. I feel sorry for those who are being sold out. Even you ignorant ones!
Good bye America! Hello global corporations!

BSScout: The underwear you have on was made in Bangladesh; your car was probably made in Mexico; the fiber over which your message was routed came from Canada; your computer monitor came from god-knows-where. Sunglasses… probably chinese. The gas in your tank probably originated from somewhere in south america or the middle east.

America is stronger than ever, despite what some union leader or politician would like you to believe. Right now, we are in desperate need of teachers, health-care workers, and energy/utility engineers, just to name a few. Sorry that some people are getting the short-end of this stick, but the world really needs you to move on and contribute!

What’s your angle on these comments and the layoffs at Micron?

About Jill Kuraitis

Jill Kuraitis is an award-winning journalist who specializes in news of Idaho and the Rocky Mountain West. Her B.A. in theatre management is from UC Santa Barbara, and she went on to work in theatre, film, and politics before writing became a career. Kuraitis has two excellent grown children and lives in Boise with her husband of 30 years, abundant backyard wildlife, and two huge hairy dogs.

Comments

  1. Brian says:

    The press needs to do a much better job on this story. Given the impact Micron has on the local economy it is not only important to get current figures but also to report on where this is heading. I can’t imagine that message boards are the only source of information out there. Where are the investigative journalists?

  2. Jill Kuraitis says:

    We thought we’d start here for today, since it’s happening now. But we’re following the story in other ways.

  3. Debbie Parks says:

    I have a question not a resolution. What can the employers of the Treasure Valley do to reduce the negative impact this will have on our valued residents? The unemployment rate in Boise is low yet I see “Help Wanted” signs on every corner? Could we make our job openings more attractive to those who have become victims of layoffs from a respected position?

    Time to brain storm and find a way to keep these cherished families in the Treasure Valley.

  4. Idenity with-held says:

    Ha! Miron considered me for a position there but it involved relocating to Boise. I suggested an alternate arrangement so my family and I didn’t have to relocate — if you never been through a relo, it is very stress on you and your family. They refused. Now I’m glad I didn’t pursue this any more.

  5. Slickster says:

    I was one of those that got it five years ago, in the “silent layoff” that preceded the 2003 bloodbath. Try as I might, I could not find similar work or anything within $30k of what I had been making. Reluctantly, I left my dream home and the Treasure Valley for greener pastures and one of the many positions out there.

    I am currently making substantially above what I made working for Micron, am well thought of and rewarded for for my professional capabilities. Now, as the time to retire approaches, I once again look to the Boise area as a place to live out my days.

    The agonizing over leaving and the human cost in relocation (I have a small family) left marks that will not heal, yet, I am one of the lucky ones. I had a skill set much in demand, but elsewhere in the country. Many of those washed out the door do not have that luxury and will be waiting on you at the mini mart in a few weeks. Most of them will be forced to change their lifestyle and consequently, make less of a contribution to the economy of the Valley.

    I can assure you that despite any grandstand plays, Appleton will walk away with a huge bonus, again and the tumultuous path of Micron will continue, for awhile.

    Boise has to encourage other businesses to relocate to the area to solidify the economic base or those families that cannot live on minimum wage will leave, as I was forced to do. We cannot afford to drive all of the well paying jobs out and still hope to keep the Treasure Valley vital and growing.

    Two cents worth from a former Micron employee and victim.

  6. Jay Kanta says:

    Good luck with that, Debbie. As this valley has turned away a full trough of technical companies in the past due to resource concerns as well as the lack of educational opportunities and a stable technical pool. Given that Micron has stated, unequivocally, that they will NOT be moving any of the 300mm plant to Boise, nor increasing the size of their Boise plant, expect more layoffs and a rapid pace of attrition due to job fears.

    Since Boise has one of the lowest average wages of any city of it’s same size, we don’t exactly have much to offer workers that are used to the real world wages that HP or Micron has to offer.

    Brain storm all you want, it’s too late to bring in the future technical businesses that will keep this valley at it’s current level.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What ever happened to the WARN act?

    http://www.doleta.gov/programs/factsht/warn.htm

    Did Micron already let 1000 folks go? If so, why wasn’t notice provided?

  8. Jay Kanta says:

    Here is what happened to the WARN act:

    http://www.2news.tv/news/8421852.html

    Micron screwed their employees, yet again.

    So when are they going to get another city/state tax break? Must be slated for next week.

  9. Stan says:

    Corporations are purely for-profit enterprises, almost to the point of being anti-humanity. Well, perhaps not “almost.”
    Part of the reason any major employer comes to the Treasure Valley is the cheap labor (Idaho being a “Right-to-Work” anti-union state), cheaper business property taxes (our legislature tends to give big tax breaks to highly profitable corporations that turn around and outsource for even cheaper labor) and the cost-of-living/great-place-to-raise-a-family qualities that are rapidly diminishing. As property and gasoline prices climb, people can’t afford to buy a home close to work and won’t be able to afford to commute from affordable communities.
    I have had people from other states inquire about employment only to find that, to move here, they would have to take a 30 to 50% pay cut. It might be worth it for some people but many just can’t handle the loss of income.

  10. mrmicron says:

    I used to work with Micron and it was a great company. I saw the writing on the wall though, because Micron was suing other companies for undercutting them, etc…

    Unforatunately, DRAM is becoming a commidity, and so are imaging chips.

    There will be other opportunities for everyone!

  11. Jay says:

    Mr. Appleton, is that you?

    And you should be ashamed of yourself for shamelessly promoting a company that just screwed 1200 employees out of a good severance package with fine print.

  12. Dale says:

    People like Stan seem to think there is some superior system out there where everyone is guaranteed a job and whatever else they think comes along with it. The world is full of examples of failed states that thought this way. There is no perfect world and are no benefolent dictators. The “for profit world” that Stan lives in is the best that man has been able to produce. Go forward and make life decisions knowing that there are no guarantees and you will do fine in this less than perfect place we live in called the USA.

  13. IMFT employee says:

    I work for IMFT, which closely allied with Micron and Intel. I just started and I saw no agreement anywhere that said I was guaranteed a job for the rest of my life. Come to think of it, no place I ever worked at gave me a guarantee of endless employment. That is the nature of the beast, the beast of corporations/businesses that is. I fully expect to be laid off by IMFT when the martket for NAND flash finally caves in.

    But I will be ready. And I’m not going to buy a house here in Lehi Utah either. Not as long as I work in the volatile semi-conductor industry. I will keep my resume up to date also. I have learned from what happened up there in Boise.

  14. Micah Painton says:

    I have been at Micron for many years and I love it considering it is one of the last wholesaome open racist companies left, white power