Although the markets have reacted positively to financial results from the likes of Apple, Intel and AOL Time Warner, April has been a month of big job cuts across the tech sector.
While the British economy is still experiencing growth, workers this side of the Atlantic are not immune from the US economic downturn. Union members claim that, despite the intervention of the prime minister, Motorola is poised to close its factory at Bathgate, Scotland, with the loss of over 3,000 jobs. Compaq has already laid off some 850 staff, including contract workers, from its operations north of the border, and plans to cut 7,000 jobs worldwide.
Thousands of workers will also be axed by Palm, Hewlett-Packard, Marconi, Philips and, according to reports, Texas Instruments. In each case, a slowdown in orders is one reason given for the cutbacks.
Sega, creator of video games such as Sonic the Hedgehog, announced last Thursday that 300 jobs would be lost as it tries to reach profitability by March 2002 -- while software maker Siebel has just reduced its workforce by 800.
The telecoms sector has also been suffering. Lower handset sales has forced Siemens to axe 3,500 jobs, after it revealed that its mobile operations had made a loss so far this year. Swedish giant Ericsson is going to slash up to 12,000 jobs on top of the 9,000 that it has already cut this year, and Nortel Networks is planning to make 5,000 employees redundant.
While union leaders are warning companies to be cautious in their cutbacks, Dell chairman Michael Dell has admitted that his company overhired in the good times, forcing it to lay off staff when things got tougher.
So far this month, the number of jobs reportedly cut by major high-tech firms has reached 45,500.
NEWS:Siemens to cut jobs as mobile slowdown bitesThu, 26 Apr
Shares down on layoff news, as 3,500 staff are cut
Motorola defies Tony Blair and shuts Scottish factoryTue, 24 Apr
Prime minister's personal plea wasn't enough to stop the closure of the Bathgate factory -- and the unions aren't happy
Motorola poised to shut Scottish plantTue, 24 Apr
Devastating blow to be dealt to Scotland's 'Silicon Glen'
Ericsson warns of 12,000 job lossesFri, 20 Apr
Chief exec hopes Ericsson can return to profitability in the second half -- more than one fifth of the company's workforce will have been axed this year
Palm begins hefty job cutsThu, 19 Apr
Suffering from a sharp drop in demand, the handheld maker starts doling out pink slips and finding other ways to tighten its belt
HP to miss targets and cut 3,000 jobsWed, 18 Apr
Profit warning from HP means doom and gloom for consumer PC market
Texas Instruments reportedly to lay off 2,600Tue, 17 Apr
TI to embark on serious job cuts, says Wall Street Journal
Blair intervenes to prevent 3,000 mobile job losses Tue, 10 Apr
Government acts to prevent Motorola job losses
Marconi cuts jobsMon, 09 Apr
UK telecoms provider warns of slowdown in orders as economic problems spread outside US
Dell chairman says 'screwed up' with layoffsMon, 09 Apr
Company admits overhiring in boom time
Jobs go at Compaq's Scottish factoryTue, 03 Apr
US economic slump means redundancies this side of the Atlantic
Out in the real world, Cisco's lost staff, especially the technical people, will be snapped up by bricks-and-mortar corporates, desperate to move into the next phase of the growth of e-commerce. Guy Kewney says: Cisco may have hiccupped; but nothing can actually stop the Internet now.
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