EDS offers retirement to quarter of US staff

Twelve thousand of EDS's US workforce have been offered early retirement after orders dropped in the second quarter

IT consultancy group EDS has offered almost a quarter of its US workforce early retirement.

In a filing on Wednesday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, EDS said that the offer had gone out to 12,000 of its American employees, who have until the end of October to respond.

The company's share price has dropped by almost 20 percent since the beginning of August, when it announced that orders were down 20 percent in the second quarter of the year.

EDS claims that the early retirement scheme will cost it between $70m and $130m (£35m-£65m) in the fourth quarter of this year. The firm laid off 5,000 workers last year in a cost-cutting drive.

ZDNet.co.uk understands that EDS's latest cutbacks are confined to its US operations and will not affect its employees in the UK, where the company holds many contracts ranging from providing IT systems for the Ministry of Defence to administering London's Oyster smartcard scheme.

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