Optical networking equipment manufacturer JDS Uniphase is to cut 5000 jobs, or 20 per cent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring proposal. A total of 515 jobs will be lost from the company's Bracknell, Oxford and Midlothian factories, which are to be closed.
The news came only hours after Motorola's decision to close its Bathgate facility with the loss of around 3000 jobs.
In a separate, but similar announcement, Agere Systems, formerly the microelectronics group of Lucent Technologies, said it would cut 2000 jobs, or 11 per cent of its workforce.
Jozef Straus, co-chairman and chief executive at JDS, said during a conference call that "today we are responding aggressively to more difficult economic times with our global realignment program".
He added that the cost of the program will be between $375m and $425m, and that the company expects to cut annual expenses by more than $250m. "Our industry is in a near-term downturn and we must act decisively and rapidly," he said.
As part of the program, JDS will vacate about 25 of its buildings, consolidate a number of product lines and create global centres for advanced product development.
The company, which has headquarters in San Jose and Ottawa, reported a net loss of $1.29bn in its third fiscal quarter ended 31 March, compared with a loss of $240.9m in last year's third quarter. Sales for the third quarter were $920.1m, up from $394m a year earlier.
The 5000 job cuts match the number announced last week by Nortel Networks, one of JDS' largest customers.
Agere Systems blamed the weak communications market for the company's reduction in its workforce.
Less than one month after a disappointing initial public offering, the company announced a second-quarter loss of $148m. Revenues for the second quarter ended 31 March were $1.2bn, up 12 per cent from fiscal 2000 second quarter revenues of $1.1bn, and down 13 per cent sequentially from first-quarter 2001 revenues of $1.4bn.
Agere cited the one-time restructuring costs associated with the break up from Lucent, acquisition expenses made while part of Lucent and tax adjustments for the poor results.
John Dickson, president and chief executive at Agere, said: "Despite current conditions, we remain confident about the long-term growth opportunity for our business."
Lucent has itself stumbled over the past two years and is also slashing jobs.
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