MUNICH, Germany, Sept 29 Siemens is
to shed 15,000 jobs over the next year, a third of them in
Germany, as part of a 6 billion euro ($8.1 billion) cost cutting
programme, a spokesman said on Sunday.
The announcement comes two months after the ouster of Chief
Executive Peter Loescher who drew up the savings plan late last
Europe's biggest engineering firm, whose products range from
hearing aids to gas turbines, is anxious to close the gap with
more profitable rivals such as U.S.-based General Electric Co
and Switzerland's ABB.
Siemens and its unions have reached an agreement over about
half of the job cuts and a deal on the other half will follow,
the spokesman said.
He added that Siemens wanted to end speculation in the
market about the number of jobs that are about to be cut.
No workers have been laid off so far and Siemens has said it
does not intend to make enforced redundancies, relying in stead
on attrition and voluntary severance deals.
In Germany, about 2,000 jobs will be cut at the company's
industrial unit and another 1,400 at its energy and
infrastructure business, the spokesman said.
Siemens expects to close the current fiscal year on Monday
with around 370,000 workers, the same as last year.