Sun workers forced to take a break

They have to take time off whether they like it or not...

They have to take time off whether they like it or not...

Employees at Sun Microsystems will be required to take five days of paid vacation this year as the server and software giant looking to tighten its purse strings. The cost-cutting measure is mandatory and will free up money set aside for holiday's owed, a company spokeswoman said. However, she added that employees who do not have any vacation days due would not be penalised. Sun recorded a $1bn drop in fourth quarter sales when it released its results for fiscal 2000 last month and in a statement it said it would focus on lowering its operating costs to generate more cash for long term growth. Despite its results, Sun CEO Scott McNealy said the future is positive and cited company and highlighted initiatives including the recent introduction of its Open Net Environment - or Sun ONE-architecture. The Palo Alto-based company is looking to shed 300 jobs by the end of fiscal 2001 and is asking up to two per cent of its 43,600 workers to find new jobs within the company itself or move on. When the markets closed in the US yesterday evening, Sun's share price had dropped almost half a per cent to $14.71 from $14.77.