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Sun orders staff to take a break

Sun Microsystems has issued a memo to its US employees urging them to take five days' holiday before the end of the year as part of cost-cutting measures.

Regina Weigand, a spokeswoman for Sun in Europe, said: "Sun saves significant costs when people take vacation. The company is obliged to set aside money for accrued holiday days."

Weigand added that unlike their European counterparts, all US-based Sun employees were permitted to carry accrued holidays over into the following year.

This is the second time this year that Sun has asked its employees to take a week's leave. In early August the company announced that it intended to reduce its workforce by 300 through what it called a "redeployment programme".

Sun has so far avoided the large-scale lay-offs announced by other hardware makers such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Compaq.

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