Chipmaker Fujitsu is to slash working hours and offer extended holidays to nearly 5,000 of its Japanese employees as the effects of the global technology downturn continue to bite.
The plan, which will affect workers at three domestic semiconductor plants, is the latest example of Japanese-style 'work-sharing', whereby companies cut employees' hours, rather than lay off staff, to reduce employment costs.
Following negotiations with union leaders, Fujitsu intends to reduce shifts from 12 to eight hours for workers at factories in Iwate, Fukushima and Mie, and offer employees holidays of up to one year, starting in April, according to reports in the Financial Times. The company blamed the collapse of semiconductor prices.
Along with other chipmakers, Fujitsu is expecting heavy losses this year. The company recorded a net loss of 174.7bn yen (£913m) in the first half of 2001, and in December Fujitsu brand ICL called for up to 2,000 voluntary redundancies in the UK, representing up to 18 per cent of its 11,500 UK workforce.
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