SolarWorld warns of impending layoffs, could jettison hundreds

HILLSBORO, Ore. -- SolarWorld Americas Inc. said Monday it has filed a mass layoff notice for its Hillsboro solar panel factory, which is struggling to survive in the wake of the insolvency of its German parent.

All 800 workers could lose their jobs, but the company is continuing to operate and hopes to survive with a smaller workforce, according to spokesman Ben Santarris.

“We’re right now in the process of determining what is the right size of the organization,” Santarris said in an interview. “We do expect layoffs, and to protect employees we needed to issue the WARN act notification."

SolarWorld AG announced on May 10 that it was entering insolvency proceedings.

Three days later, the U.S. unit said it was “operating as usual” with the intention of “continuing to implement efficiencies and working with external partners to position the company for stabilization and a continued competitive position in the marketplace.”

Santarris said that remains the case and the plant continues to operate, but the company needed to inform employees that layoffs were coming.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification act requires companies with 100 or more employees to notify affected workers 60 days prior to closures and layoffs.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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