SolarWorld says many of about 50 of its workers who will lose their jobs this summer will be eligible for federal ‘trade-adjustment’ assistance because the U.S. Department of Labor has determined that Chinese solar panel imports were a cause of their impending layoffs.
Some reports have placed the total number of employees SolarWorld plans to lay off at 100.
Many of those laid off, most of whom work at SolarWorld's silicon and wafer factory in Hillsboro, Ore., will be able to tap benefits such as job placement assistance; expenses for job searches, relocation and retraining; income support during full-time retraining; and tax credits for health-insurance premiums, the company says.
SolarWorld says it is idling the crystallization and wafering departments in Hillsboro because China's sustained solar import dumping on the U.S. market means the company can no longer continue to produce solar wafers there using conventional crystallization methods. Without dumping and subsidies, the company says, China has no cost advantage over U.S. manufacturers on wafers or any other aspect of solar production.
SolarWorld has been vocal about the need for the U.S. and European Union governments to enact anti-dumping tariffs on China. Some analysts have said such measures would not actually help keep solar factories open in the West.