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August 5, 2009

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Seagate to slash 2,000 jobs in Singapore

HARD disk maker Seagate Technologies said yesterday it will lay off 2,000 workers in Singapore as it shifts its manufacturing facilities from the city-state.

The move follows a slide in electronics exports from Singapore this year due to weaker consumer demand in the economic downturn.

"We are moving our hard disk operation at Ang Mo Kio (in Singapore) to other Seagate sites in other countries," company spokeswoman Lotus Tan said but didn't provide any further details.

She said Seagate employed a total of 8,000 workers in Singapore and would keep Seagate's Asia headquarters, media operation as well as a product development and design center.

Singapore's overall unemployment rate stood at 3.3 percent in the second quarter but the number of people employed in Singapore fell by 12,400 in the April-June period, twice as much as in the first quarter.

Seagate said in a statement its affected employees will be offered severance packages. It said the majority of Seagate's disk drive manufacturing were spread across Thailand, China and Malaysia.

Seagate said in May that it had initiated a restructuring plan that included a reduction of about 1,100 employees or 2.5 percent of the company's global work force.

The restructuring plan is expected to result in total pretax restructuring charges of around US$72 million.

"This is necessary in order for Seagate to further increase efficiency and reduce costs," the company said.



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