Am I Next? Layoffs at Micron Technology.

Boise, Idaho-based Micron Technology, a designer of computer semiconductors and related products appears to be under suspicion by the media and employees of staging its layoffs to avoid the filing of WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notices and using NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) to keep employees from speaking to the media.

It appears that Micron has ceased assembling products at the Boise facility with a corresponding loss of jobs to an unnamed third-party vendor. Some Micron employees were encouraged to train their counterparts in Micron’s Taiwan facility.

While the company has acknowledged the closure of the assembly operation, layoffs, and outsourcing to a third-party vendor, they refused to provide details which is standard practice in this highly competitive industry. The company further acknowledged the use of stacked ranking employee evaluations or discuss the matter further.

For those not familiar with stacked ranking, it is a distributive evaluation method which forces managers to rank employees in a similar manner as students being graded on a curve where every A is balanced with an F; the lowest scoring employees are then laid off with a severance package. The practice, also known as “rank and yank” was devised in part by General Electric’s legendary CEO. Jack Welch.

The semiconductor industry is fraught with danger, from disruptive new technology to wild swings in chip consumption. Adding to Micron’s normal business risks is the Trump Administration’s prohibition of selling certain technology to the Chinese-owned Huawei without special waivers. It is believed that Huawei was responsible for up to 13 percent of Micron’s revenue in the first half of fiscal 2019.

Change is coming. There will always be a tomorrow, no matter how much you may try to ignore it. There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. No one is guaranteed to wake up tomorrow and still have a job by evening. Are you now wondering, Am I Next?