Wistron Mass Layoff

Wistron Infocomm Philippines is under the umbrella company of Acer Information in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Wistron Infocomm Philippines is formerly known as Acer Information Philippines and is recognized to be a top earner and top tax contributor in SBMA. The beautifully landscaped area is home to three buildings: the Admin building, the Desktop building and the Mobile building. Desktop and Mobile are actually production plants.

The Desktop building used to produce desktop computers. The plant was shutdown in late 2001 when desktop operation was transferred in China. Now, the Customer Service Department occupies this building. On the other hand, the Mobile plant produces laptop until the operation was transferred in China. For two years now, smart phones are being produced and is the main source of income for Wistron.

Wistron, as a company, was able to beat the threat of unionizing, several attempted closures and high manufacturing cost. Since 2002, cost cutting measures were implemented. For the keen observers, it was a signal that Wistron was not doing well financially speaking. Then came the transfer of desktop operations in China where the labor cost is said to be much cheaper. The pioneers in Wistron were the most optimistic and most loyal to the company. It was the pioneer group who kept the balance by assuring the doubting Thomases that just like any other crisis, it would just pass.

But did it? How can they explain the mass layoff of 500 regular employees this morning of January 20, 2009? It was so sudden; employees were not able to prepare. They were given five minutes to stay in the company premises and then, they were escorted out of Wistron compound where a shuttle bus is waiting. Police and SWAT were reportedly visible in the area. January 20, 2009 became the mourning day of Wistron Infocomm Philippines.

Surely, the one million desktop production in year 2000 will just be a memory. There will no longer be a queue in the metal detector area, canteen and ATM area. They will no longer see familiar faces, hear familiar voices and smell familiar scents. Definitely, the ones left behind will be insecure of their future in Wistron. The once top tax contributor in SBMA will be nothing but a history.

The global economic crisis can now be felt. God bless the Philippines. God bless the world!