Wintek to lay off all 2,300 Taiwan employees


TAIPEI–Wintek Corp. (�ӵج���), a financially struggling touch panel supplier in Taiwan, has announced that it will lay off all of its more than 2,300 employees in the country in stages.

The layoff announcement came after the loss-incurring panel maker cut its workforce in Taiwan by 610 in early December as the company witnessed its orders fall, with its clients switching to other suppliers.

Currently, Wintek employs about 2,360 workers in Taiwan.

Wintek said that it has informed local labor affair authorities of the layoff plan and the affected employees will be compensated according to regulations in the Labor Standards Act.

The touch panel maker said that after the layoff, it is possible the company may hire back a small number of the employees for touch panel sensor production in the future. But it said it will relocate its back-end touch module production lines to Vietnam.

However, the company did not elaborate on when and how it will hire back some of the affected employees.

Since 2010, Wintek has been incurring losses amid escalating competition in the industry. In 2013, its loss per share rose to NT$5.55 from NT$1.64 in 2012 and NT$1.16 in 2011. In the first nine months of this year, it posted an additional NT$9.72 in LPS.

On Oct. 13, Wintek announced that it had filed a court petition to seek approval for a business restructuring after incurring losses for years.

Market analysts said the business structuring plan has turned many of its clients away, which dragged down orders placed with the company.

After the business restructuring plan surfaced in the market, Wintek shares suffered heavy downward pressure. Trading of Wintek has been suspended since Nov. 19.

Earlier in December, Wintek announced it will suspend production of three production facilities located in Suzhou and Dongguan, China and cut its workforce by more than 10,000 employees there. The touch panel maker said it is seeking potential buyers to purchase the three Chinese factories.

Taiwanese touch panel suppliers, like Wintek, are facing serious competition from Chinese counterparts, which have been making products of higher quality than before and cutting prices to secure more orders in recent years. This has led to an oversupply problem and price pressures for the Taiwanese companies.