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Matsushita Early Retirement Scheme May Cut 3,000 Jobs
Jun 21, 2004
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Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. said it will implement an early retirement scheme as of July in a move that local media said would cut 3,000 jobs, or about 2.5 percent of its work force in Japan.

Matsushita, maker of Panasonic-branded electronics, said the retirement scheme would focus on its information systems development division and employees at electronic components and battery units in Japan.

Business daily newspaper Nihon Keizai reported that the retirement package was aimed at trimming back about 3,000 domestic jobs, but a Matsushita spokesman said the company had not yet set a specific target. "We plan to implement a retirement scheme in July, but we are not sure at this point how many people will participate," the spokesman said.

After 2 years of losses, Matsushita returned to profit in the business year that ended on March 31, helped in part by cost-cutting efforts from a restructuring program started 3 years ago that included plant closures and around 13,000 job cuts.

Matsushita, which employs approximately 290,000 staff worldwide, aims to boost net profit by 50 percent this business year to 63 billion yen (approx. U.S. $579.8 million). The Osaka-based electronics maker plans to shift some production of batteries to China from a domestic plant and aims to move output of some audio parts to Malaysia from Japan, the Nihon Keizai said. (Reuters)

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