Fujitsu To Cut 1,750 Philippines Jobs

Workers have been offered early retirement packages to leave Fujitsu Computer Products Corp., which makes disk drives.

Fujitsu Ltd. announced plans on March 18 to axe 1,750 jobs in the Philippines, blaming the global economic downturn. Workers have been offered early retirement packages to leave Fujitsu Computer Products Corp., which makes disk drives, said Ernesto Espinosa, a manager.

"We launched a voluntary leaving program and the reason for this is that because of the global recession," Espinosa said.

Espinosa said Fujitsu failed to save the jobs despite earlier efforts to cut working hours and overtime pay, which drastically reduced employees' salaries. "Because of that we have no other choice but to offer voluntary separation," he added.

About 2,900 other workers will remain with the company, based in Calamba town, south of Manila, he said.

Fujitsu announced in Japan last month that it would sell an 80% stake to Japanese rival Toshiba Corp.

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said the government had been notified of the plan, which takes effect on April 18. He said this brought the number of Filipinos who had lost their jobs since the financial crisis unfolded last year to about 45,000.

The government expects 800,000 people to lose jobs, mainly in the electronics and clothing sectors, before the downturn eases.

About nine million Filipinos, or 10% of the population, were without jobs or underemployed, the government announced on March 17.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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