KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Berhad confirmed today that it has shut down two departments in its Shah Alam 1 plant as part of a “restructuring” exercise carried out on March 31, 2023 and that the retrenched workers received “fair and equitable compensation”.
No other Malaysian plants or departments other than the one stated are affected, the company said in a statement denying earlier news reports that it plans to shut down more factories here.
“The strategies undertaken are thoroughly thought out and any decisions regarding our workforce are made with the utmost consideration and deliberation,” the company said.
“We completed a rationalisation exercise and business restructuring on 31 March 2023. This was in-line with the closure of two product manufacturing departments at the Shah Alam 1 (SA1) plant only. No other plants or departments other than the one stated are affected.”
News portal Malaysiakini was the first to report on the possible closures of the Malaysian arm of the Japanese manufacturing giant today.
Citing sources, Malaysiakini reported that Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Malaysia Sdn Bhd in Melaka could close by year end, leaving its current 500 Malaysian workers and 95 foreign staff at risk of unemployment.
A separate unit, Panasonic AVC Networks Johor Malaysia Sdn Bhd, is also planning to shut down operations before the end of 2023, the news portal reported.
According to Malaysiakini, close to 700 workers have been laid off from the exercise so far.
The company did not confirm the figure but said “a nominal number” of employees within the affected departments were provided with the option of a Mutual Separation Scheme (MSS), and a significant proportion of them voluntarily opted for this opportunity”.
“During this rationalisation exercise, those employees who opted for the MSS have received fair and equitable compensation packages which are above industry norms,” Panasonic Malaysia said.
Staff who did not opt for the MSS were offered to be transferred to other relevant departments within Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Berhad for “positions that suit their skill sets and potential for growth,” the company added.