Siemens seeks thousands of job cuts: paper

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German engineering conglomerate Siemens SIEGn.DE is in early internal talks to cut thousands of jobs in response to a weakening economy, particularly in Europe, a German newspaper reported.

People walk in the Siemens factory in Munich Perlach in Munich December 15, 2010. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

Decisions could be made in October or November, according to daily Boersen-Zeitung, which did not specify its sources.

A Siemens spokesman declined to comment.

The report comes amid growing signs that Germany’s economy, which remained relatively robust through large parts of the euro zone crisis, is losing steam.

Siemens, Germany’s biggest company by market value, in July reported a big drop in new orders as customers put off investments due to Europe’s crisis, saying full-year goals would be hard to meet.

In Germany alone, orders were down by 43 percent in the first nine months of its financial year.

CEO Peter Loescher said at the time Siemens would have to cut costs and become leaner, but he would not say whether Siemens would cut jobs. <ID:L6E8IQ7J2>

At the end of June, Siemens had 410,000 employees, of whom 129,000 were based in Germany. That makes it one of the country's biggest employers after Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE and Deutsche Post DHL DPWGn.DE.

The jobless total in Germany remains close to its lowest since Germany reunified more than two decades ago, but the number out of work rose for a fourth month running in July.

A spate of German companies have announced job cuts recently.

Department store chain Karstadt said it would cut 2,000 jobs while truck maker MAN SE MANG.DE ordered a hiring freeze at its truck and bus division as second-quarter profit plunged.

ThyssenKrupp TKAG.DE has cut the hours of workers at its five steel-making facilities in Germany in response to a slowdown in demand while Opel - the German unit of U.S. automaker General Motors GM.N - is close to signing a similar accord with workers, sources have said.

Shares in Siemens were up 0.9 percent at 0809 GMT, against a 0.7 percent rise in the index of leading German shares .GDAXI.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Maria Sheahan; Editing by David Cowell