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Siemens slashes 2,500 jobs in industrial division

German engineering giant Siemens has announced it'll have to cut thousands of jobs in a realignment program. But it added it would start a huge hiring initiative as of next year to reflect the firm's new structure.

Siemens said Wednesday it would cut 2,500 jobs in its process industries and drives division (PD) in a reorganization of the company aimed at coping with a slump in the oil and gas sectors.

The Munich-based firm said the move was also meant to reflect sluggish business in the metals and mining segments.

"Plunging demand in raw materials markets has led to a significant intensification of competition, particularly in Asia," PD CEO Jürgen Brandes said in a statement.

"To guarantee our competitiveness, we've got to adapt to these conditions," he added.

Temporary reduction of global workforce

Out of the positions to be cut, 2,000 will be axed in Germany, with 1,000 jobs being slashed completely, while another 1,000 will be relocated to eastern Europe and Asia.

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Jürgen Wechsler from the IG Metall union criticized the announcement, calling the plan "a knee-jerk reaction" and devoid of imagination."

Siemens emphasized that the cuts this year would be followed by massive hiring as of 2017 as the company kept shifting to a "digital industrial firm."

Management said it would hire at least 25,000 people each year globally as of 2017, with some 3,000 new jobs to be created annually in Germany.

hg/cjc (Reuters, AFP)

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