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Hitachi and IBM hard-disc venture to lay off 400 staff

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), the business created by the merger of the hard-disc drive manufacturing units of Hitachi and IBM, is to lay off about 400 workers.

The company hopes to achieve some of the staff cuts through a voluntary redundancy program for which 450 employees are eligible. Those employees have until 29 November to decide, the company said.

It expects around 40% or 50% of those eligible to accept redundancy which will take the company about halfway to its reduction target.

The remaining cuts will be made from 13 December, it said. Staff at the receiving end of the involuntary layoff programme will receive redundancy pay, medical benefits for an unspecified period and support to find a new job.

The company said the layoffs are part of continuing fine-tuning of the integration of the hard-disc businesses of IBM and Hitachi. It also said the hard-disc drive industry is very competitive and requires "very aggressive cost structures".

Hitachi paid just over $2bn (£1.1bn) in late 2002 to IBM to accomplish the combination of the two companies' hard-disc drive technology units. Hitachi holds a majority 70% stake in HGST and IBM holds the remaining stake.

Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service


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