Sun asks workers to take time off

In an effort to further cut costs, Sun Microsystems is asking its workers to take additional unused vacation days before the end of the year.

In an effort to further cut costs, Sun Microsystems is asking its workers to take additional unused vacation days before the end of the year.

According to Sun workers, the company is asking all employees with unused vacation time to take an additional five days off between July 9 and December 24, saying the cost savings for the company could be dramatic.

Sun spokeswoman Diane Carlini confirmed the company is asking workers to use vacation time they have earned and said employees did receive two memos on the subject this week, but she declined to discuss the specifics.

The move follows a companywide shutdown the week of July 4 and is similar to cost-cutting moves undertaken at other tech giants, including Dell Computer, National Semiconductor and Hewlett-Packard.

Two weeks ago, Sun said it was cutting hundreds of jobs as part of a refocusing of its business.

Carlini said the company plans to shut down the week of July 4 next year as well. That week marks the start of the company's fiscal year.

"The response from employees was overwhelmingly positive," Carlini said.

Sun shares closed regular trading Wednesday down US$1.12, or 7 percent, to US$14.77, down from a 52-week high of US$64.65.

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