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Workers building Taiwan Semi Arizona plant reportedly hit with pay cut

Workers building Taiwan Semiconductor’s plant in north Phoenix, Arizona have reportedly been hit with a pay cut, even as the company has increased its investment in the site to $40B.

Several sources told KTVK/KPHO that the influx of new workers coming from Taiwan, which the company said last month would help “ramp up” the facility, are being used to replace existing workers or cut pay.

In a statement, Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) told the news outlet that it is in a “critical phase” of building the facility and more skilled expertise is needed.

“Given we are now in a critical phase handling all of the most advanced and dedicated equipment in a sophisticated facility, we require skilled expertise for specific TSMC Arizona construction activities and are temporarily bringing to Arizona select specialized talent with strong experience – whom are E-2 visa holders – to support this work and the fast ramp up of this project,” the company said.

“As of now, the number of workers coming to Arizona has not been determined, but they will only be in Arizona for a limited timeframe for this specific project and will not impact the 12,000 workers currently on-site every day nor our U.S.-based hiring.”

The first Arizona plant, slated to open in 2024, is building 5 nanometer chips and a second facility is expected to produce 3 nanometer chips. The 3 nm chip facility is slated to be ready for production by 2026.

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) Chairman Mark Liu said in December that more than 600,000 wafers would be manufactured per year at the plant, accounting for $10B in annual revenue.

Liu was at the plant during President Joe Biden’s visit to Arizona, along with Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, Nvidia (NVDA) CEO Jensen Huang, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) CEO Dr. Lisa Su and others.

Apple (AAPL), Nvidia (NVDA) and AMD (AMD) are three of Taiwan Semiconductor’s (TSM) biggest customers.

Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook said in November that the tech giant would start sourcing chips from the Arizona plant in 2024.

Taiwan Semiconductor’s (TSM) push into Arizona is partly the result of the U.S. CHIPs Act, which was signed into law in August 2022.

The $52.7B CHIPs Act includes subsidies for domestic production and an investment tax credit for chip plants that could be worth an estimated $24B over the next decade. The legislation was designed to reduce the reliance of foreign semiconductor production amid increasing geopolitical tensions, particularly with China.

In April, it was reported that Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) was pushing back on some of the more controversial parts of the legislation.

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) shares rose 1.2% in mid-day trading on Thursday. SeekingAlpha

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