Canon Unit Shedding More than 1,100 Contract Jobs

Layoffs due to production reductions

More than 1,100 contract workers are losing their jobs at two subsidiaries of Japan's Canon Inc. due to production cutbacks, officials said Dec. 5.

Canon, often hailed as a success story in Japan's recovery from a recession a decade ago, is joining other major Japanese manufacturers that are cutting output and jobs to cope with the global economic downturn. Canon, which produces cameras and office equipment, said it had slashed orders to Oita Canon Inc., resulting in a reduction in the number of workers hired through contractors.

Canon directly employs about 4,600 regular and temporary workers at the subsidiary in Oita, southern Japan, but it does not know how many contract workers there are at the firm, the spokesman said.

The Oita branch of the labor ministry said it had learned that 1,097 contract jobs would be cut at the subsidiary and 80 others at a printer toner cartridge unit, Oita Canon Materials Inc., by the end of March.

Canon has lowered its projection for digital camera shipments to 27.9 million units from an initial 29.4 million for the year to March 2009.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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