SolarWorld cutting jobs
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Reports indicate that SolarWorld is scaling back its workforce by 10 percent.
SolarWorld AG, the parent company of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., is expected to trim 10 percent of its global workforce, a move officials are saying is linked to a flood of cheap Chinese solar panels coming into the market.
A report in Germany's Freie Presse newspaper was cited by PV Magazine, saying that at least two facilities in Germany will be affected by layoffs, which would reduce the company's global workforce of 3,300.
SolarWorld employs more than 1,000 people in Hillsboro.
"What came out of Europe is about Europe," said Ben Santarris, SolarWorld's spokesman in Hillsboro.
Santarris said that while the company has not rehired for some vacant manufacturing positions, the company is hiring on the commercial side of its business, leaving employment relatively flat in Hillsboro.
SolarWorld's Hillsboro operation, opened in 2008, is one of the German company's newer solar manufacturing operations. Last year, SolarWorld consolidated its manufacturing operations in Oregon, closing down its factory in Southern California.
Santarris said that the market impact caused by inexpensive Chinese solar panels is just now being felt in Europe.
SolarWorld's Oregon-based U.S. arm has been leading a campaign aksing tariffs on Chinese solar panels, claiming that the Chinese government is unfairly subsidizing the industry. Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department ruled in SolarWorld's favor calling for tariffs of up to 250 percent.
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