Semiconductor equipment maker ASML Holding NV has won support from its unionized workforce for 24-hour, seven days-a-week production during market peaks as a result of a flexible labor model centered around a three-year time bank for employees.
Under the system, employees will get a regular monthly salary over the whole chip cycle and can store unused hours in a time bank during market downturns and then work their saved hours in upturns.
Henk Scheepers, senior vice president for supply chain management at ASML, said the system would strengthen its work with suppliers, making ASML more competitive. We can ramp up production faster, or when market cycles change, we can slow it down quicker, he said.
ASML currently employs approximately 700 people in manufacturing at Veldhoven, the Netherlands and expects to hire at least another 150 during 2006.
Theo Bartraij, ASML’s senior vice president for manufacturing, said they all recognized that the new model meant significant changes in lifestyle and work habits. Producing our systems takes highly skilled employees. We will further train them and broaden their skills. It ensures the right competencies across work shifts. We also want to be able to keep our people even during downturns, he said.