The German engineering giant Siemens has said it plans to cut 15,000 jobs from its workforce by the end of 2014. However, the company has said it hopes to make the cuts without actually putting anyone out of work.
A spokesman for the Munich-based company told news agencies on Sunday that around 5,000 of the jobs cuts would come in Germany, with the remaining 10,000 slated for Siemens facilities located abroad.
As of the end of the 2011-12 fiscal year, Siemens employed some 370,000 workers, 119,000 of them in Germany.
Sunday's announcement of the figure brought clarity for Siemens employees, who had known for the better part of a year that job cuts were coming, but did not know how deep these would be. In the end, they were significantly deeper than the 10,000 that some industry analysts had predicted.
The Siemens spokesman said though, that the company expected to achieve the planned reduction in the number of jobs without having to resort to layoffs in Germany and would seek to achieve the same at its overseas plants.
"A reduction in one area doesn't necessarily mean the actual loss of a job," the spokesman told the DPA news agency, saying that in many cases, workers who saw their jobs eliminated would be offered alternative positions within the company.
Of the jobs to be eliminated in Germany, 2,000 are to come in Siemens' industry division, 1,400 in the energy division, 1,400 in infrastructure, and another 200 in the company's corporate division.
The cost-cutting program, dubbed "Siemens 2014" was introduced by former Siemens Chief Executive Peter Löscher with an original target of increasing the company's core operating profit to 12 percent through a six-billion euro ($8.1 billion) cost cutting program over two years.
In July, the company abandoned that target. Just days later, following a second profit warning in the space of two months, Siemens' supervisory board voted to part ways with Löscher "by mutual consent," replacing him with former chief financial officer Joe Kaeser.
pfd/rc (dpa, Reuters, AFP)