Japanese tech giants boost measures to combat crisis
Japan - Japanese electronic firms are ramping up restructuring efforts with wage freeze and management reshuffling to stay afloat as the tech sector struggles with the global financial crisis.
Japanese electronics firm Sony Corp said last week it would freeze workers' salaries this year in a bid to recover from a record S$4.4 billion loss, reported Reuters. Its rivals Toshiba Corp and Hitachi had already announced a management shuffle aimed at pulling the companies out of the global economic slump. It was also reported in January that NEC Corp plans to shed 20,000 workers.
Toshiba's turnaround plan includes cutting 4,500 contract workers and delaying or cancelling investments in new chip plants while Hitachi will reduce the number of its subsidiaries from 900 to 700 by next year.
As for Sony, its workers will have no pay increments this year and bonuses would be cut from six months to four months' pay. Unlike other Japanese firms, Sony's annual salary raises are based on employees' role and performance, not seniority.
"This time we decided to keep the workers' salaries unchanged," Sony spokeswoman Mami Imada told Reuters, ahead of the pay round for the financial year starting next month.
Sony had said in January managerial pay would drop by 10% to 20% through wage cuts with bonus reductions of 35% to 40%. Other restructuring efforts include closing several factories and layoffs of 16,000 full-time and contract workers.
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