PC makers Hewlett-Packard Co. and Gateway Inc. are sending employees home without pay for the December holidays, a money-saving tradition that has become familiar to workers in the technology industry's 2-year economic downturn. Managers and nonessential employees at Dell will also get time off, but their vacation will be paid, a spokesman said. The technology slowdown has led many companies to cut costs, and nearly every major computer company has laid off workers in the last couple of years.
Hewlett-Packard is requiring most employees in North America to take off the week of Dec. 23, as Hewlett and Compaq Computer, which Hewlett bought in May, did last year. Workers can use accrued vacation but must take time off without pay if their vacation is used up, a Hewlett spokesman said.
Contract workers in Hewlett's internal technology division will also take off 20 workdays, from Dec. 9 to Jan. 10, said Arch Currid, the Hewlett spokesman. Gateway will send home nonessential employees without pay from Dec. 24 through Dec. 31, Brad Williams, a company spokesman, said. (Reuters)
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