US technology companies are forcing staff to take more holidays, sometimes unpaid, as they struggle to cut costs.
Attempting to meet Wall Street expectations for quarterly earnings, several hi-tech firms have announced programmes that either ask or force workers to take time off, in some cases without pay.
US workers traditionally get two weeks paid vacation but some are now being forced to take an unpaid week at the beginning of July.
Hewlett Packard, a pioneer in the use of 'holidays' as a cost-cutting measure, asked people to use their vacation time if they have it. The company will close down for the week including 4 July, as it did last year.
The former Compaq had a similar closure in 2001.
Last month web address provider VeriSign, where employees already have 4 July and 5 July as paid holidays, instructed its employees to take the first week of July off.
Sun Microsystems, which shut down its offices in the first week of July 2001, confirmed that it would also close down for the week including 4 July.
As one of several cost cutting measures, supply chain software firm Manugistics Group asked its employees to take an unpaid vacation this year.
According to Manugistics spokeswoman Laura Janes, customer service and support operations will not be affected nor will employees involved in installing software customers have already purchased.
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