No problem at ST Microelectronics, Muscat reassures

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says situation at ST Micrelectronics was 'cyclical' and there was no cause for alarm.

Despite confirming that workers at ST Microelectronics were forced to take leave, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat reassured Parliament that the situation was normal and there was no cause for alarm.

Replying to a query by Opposition whip David Agius, who asked whether reports that workers at Malta's largest exporter where forced to take leave, Muscat said that he was informed by the company's management that the working hours were "cyclical."

"We have not received any notice from the company's management. Should the situation warrant our intervention, we will not hesitate to step in and the first thing I would do is inform the Opposition leader," Muscat said.

Noting that certain quarters of the local and foreign press might have jumped the gun, Muscat also denied that he would be meeting French President Francois Hollande or Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta over the situation at the Italo-French owned company.

A number of media outlets today reported that a drop in orders had forced ST to declare two mini shutdowns on one production line.

ST Microelectronics is a French-Italian multinational electronics and semiconductor manufacturer and is Europe's largest semiconductor chip maker based on revenue.