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Jobs axed at technology giant

PUBLISHED: 17:56 07 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 March 2010

TECHNOLOGY giant, Agilent has given its workers the shock news that up to 165 of them are to lose their jobs.

The grim announcement is the latest body blow to the US-based technology components company - an industry already caught up in the downturn of the global economy.

Page 8 lead with secondary pic of John Ure if needed

By LYNN ABBOTT

business editor

lynn.abbott@ecng.co.uk

WORKERS at technology giant, Agilent are today coming to terms with the shock news that up to 165 of them are to lose their jobs.

The grim announcement – revealed on the Evening Star website yesterday – is the latest body blow to the US-based technology components company – an industry already caught up in the downturn of the global economy.

Earlier this year staff took a ten per cent cut in salary to help the group's fortunes.

And the loss of 98 jobs in August, which was hoped would ease the burden, did not prevent this latest decision which will prune the employment numbers down to 350.

In a statement from Agilent Techologies Whitehouse Estate complex, site manager John Ure told the Star that despite the "splendid job" done by everyone at Ipswich, efforts that in many ways had helped the group turn in record shipments just a couple of months ago, they could not escape the axe.

"It is a particularly sad situation that the people – every one of them – on this site is now being affected.

"But the business that they have worked so hard to maintain has just evaporated," he added.

The jobs will be across all levels of the company but not all functions will be affected.

"At least one research and development area will not be affected," Mr Ure added.

A necessary consultation period will begin almost immediately to select representatives and within ten days the process of earmarking affected jobs will be underway.

When the decision is made as to who will be losing their jobs – and as many voluntary redundancies as possible will be sought – those employees will effectively be on three month's notice.

Agilent Technologies at one time employed 600 staff, permanent and contract workers.

Practically all contractors have been given notice and the latest cuts will all be permanent staff, Mr Ure added.

Whitehouse is one of Agilent's major R&D centres and Mr Ure said that it has a proven track record of stability across the group.

The new extension currently under construction will be completed and Mr Ure said that it is hoped that by the time the building is ready in March things could have improved.

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