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Fewer IBM Job Cuts in Germany

US computer giant IBM will cut fewer jobs in Germany than first thought as part of worldwide restructuring plan, although around 1,600 staff face redundancy, a company spokesman said on Thursday. German unions had said they feared 2,500 jobs were at risk, representing 10 percent of IBM's workforce in Germany, but an IBM spokesman said that figure was "clearly exaggerated". The service union Verdi said it expected around 1,600 jobs to go. "It should be decided by the end of June," said Rolf Schmidt, subsidiary IBM Germany's link man with the unions. The figure of 1,600 includes 580 job losses already announced by IBM Germany which will be achieved by closing the IBM Business Services subsidiary which has offices in Schweinfurt and Hanover. Financial Times Deutschland said on Thursday that the total job losses would be around 1,280, but a company spokesman refused to confirm that figure. IBM announced this month that it had planned to cut its 329,000-strong workforce through "voluntary and involuntary" cuts of 10,000 to 13,000 employees worldwide. The company nicknamed "Big Blue" had shocked Wall Street with disappointing earnings figures last month, signalling that the job cuts were part of efforts to reinvent itself after it sold its personal computer unit.

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