ST France’s three factories strike, chip out of stock may be more serious

Due to the impact of the epidemic, upstream chip factory for the second half of the market demand estimate is too conservative, so that when the electronics industry peak season, rapid growth in demand, many chips appear in short supply. In the past two months, a large number of original chip factories have been chasing orders, resulting in upstream wafer mills and sealing capacity full, in short supply, have increased prices.

At the same time, in the context of the Sino-US science and technology war, in order to ensure the supply of key devices security, Huawei as the representative of a number of Chinese mobile phone manufacturers are also a large number of hoarding, a variety of factors intertwined, so that many chips in the market are out of stock and price increases.

For example, in the last two months, AVX tantalum capacitors, 8-inch wafers, MOSFET, some FPGA chips from Selings, some of ST’s MCU and TI’s (Texas Instruments) chips have all experienced out-of-stock price increases.

There are reports that the original delivery time for some of TI’s chips has been stretched to 26 weeks. Many of ST’s MCUs are also severely out of stock, such as 030CCT6 and 030C8T6.

On November 5, local time,media reported that three major unions (CAD, CFDT and CGT) within ST had begun strikes at all ST plants in France after ST management decided not to increase wages for all employees.

Reports say some workers went on strike at the ST plant in Crolles, France, last night. There are 60 strikers on the morning shift and about 150 strikers on the day shift. The CAD union expects 200 night shift strikers.

CAD said: “On Wednesday, 28 October 2020, ST management showed incredible contempt for ST staff and their work because they did not recognise their efforts and therefore decided not to increase their pay this year. “

CAD states that ST management asked the workers to pay coVID-19 as a “mougeons” (a mixture of sheep and pigeons).

CAD said: “ST management this year refused to give employees a pay rise on the grounds that it had increased costs by 16.9 million euros in response to COVID-19, including 6.4 million euros in COVID-19 premiums and factory compensation. Bonuses paid during childbirth were also recovered, as were wages of other employees who were not working in the factory during COVID-19 or were unable to work in the plant. “

CAD concludes: “It is absolutely not good that ST’s management also directly and publicly funds only some of its employees for COVID measures. “

At the same time, the CGT union points out that the 100 senior managers of the French ST receive an average of 200,000 euros a year and free shares worth 50,000 euros. The other thing is that for other ordinary employees, it is very unfair not to even increase their wages.

According to ST’s latest third-quarter results for the year to September 26, 2020, net revenue for the third quarter was $2.67 billion, up 27.8% quarter-on-quarter, 690 basis points higher than the highest forecast, up 4.4% year-on-year; It also expects fourth-quarter net income of $2.99 billion and gross margin of 38.5 percent.

ST France's three factories strike, chip out of stock may be more serious

From ST’s financial data, it can be said that under the impact of the new crown outbreak, ST’s performance in the third quarter is still very good. In the context of better performance, employees will naturally have a relatively large opinion on ST without pay.

Information shows that the French General Trade Union CGT, the French Workers’ Democratic Union CFDT, the French Staff Union-Managers’ Union and the Executive General Union CFE-CGC are the main trade union organizations within ST. The CAD mentioned earlier should refer to CFE-CGC. Among them, CFE-CGC and CFDT represent more than half of SFC’s employees in France.

In March, ST reached an agreement with CFDT and CFE-CGC to cut production at its French plants by 50 per cent in response to workers’ concerns about contracting the new coronavirus.

STY is one of the industry’s broadest semiconductor product lines, with more than 3,000 product types ranging from split diodes and transistors to complex on-chip system (SoC) devices to complete platform solutions including reference designs, applications, manufacturing tools and specifications. ATS is a major supplier to all industries, with a wide range of advanced technologies, intellectual property (IP) resources and world-class manufacturing processes.

St’s main wafer plants are currently in France and Italy, of which there are three in France: the 8-inch wafer plant in Rousset, France, which is st’s largest 8-inch wafer plant, in 2019 Just invested $1.4 billion to upgrade the production line; the wafer plant in Tours, France, is ST’s main plant for developing nitride technology; and the Crolles plant, which went on strike last night, is ST’s 12-inch wafer plant. The main production of FD-SOI process technology.

Obviously, if ST continues to strike at these three plants in France, it may have a very negative impact on the production of ST-related chips, further aggravating the problem of ST chip out of stock.

It is also worth noting that on 28 October local time, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the re-launch of the national embargo policy on 30 October, which will last at least until 1 December, and assessed the need for an extension of the embargo policy in the light of its effectiveness. The move could further affect ST’s production at the three plants in France.

Although ST had outsourced some of its chip production to TSMC and Samsung in March, before announcing a 50 per cent cut in production at its French plants, it had to alleviate capacity shortages. However, in the current wafer foundry orders are full, ST even if you want to increase outsourcing, I am afraid it will be difficult to get enough capacity.

Therefore, in the current ST’s own production capacity is tight, and encountered a strike and the new crown outbreak of the French secondary blockade, its chip production may be more adversely affected, the subsequent shortage or will be more serious, and may continue for a longer period of time.