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Siemens Job Cuts Could Hit Phila. Region

July 8, 2008

By Bob Fernandez, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Jul. 8–German industrial giant Siemens AG, one of the largest employers in the Philadelphia area, said it would eliminate 16,750 jobs, or 4.2 percent of its workforce, to adjust to the slowing global economy.

A company spokesman in German said today that it was too early to tell how many jobs would be eliminated at individual business units.

“Today was a starting point for the discussions between management and worker councils and it will take some time,” said the spokesman, Frank Sarfeld, from Munich.

An Inquirer survey shows that the company employs 7,600 workers in the Philadelphia area, including Delaware. Its largest unit in the Philadelphia region is Siemens Medical Solutions in Malvern. A 4 percent cut would result in about 320 fewer jobs for the region.

The Munich-based maker of products ranging from lightbulbs and medical equipment to high-speed trains and power turbines said the cuts would include 12,600 administrative jobs as well as 4,150 positions involving restructuring projects at its various units. The company has a worldwide work force of approximately 400,000.

Siemens said it will consolidate its businesses from the current 1,800 separate legal entities to fewer than 1,000 and take its 70 regional companies and transform them into 20 regional clusters.

Siemens said the cuts were being made to cut costs by $1.8 billion by 2010.

“The speed at which business is changing worldwide has increased considerably, and we’re orienting Siemens accordingly,” chief executive Peter Loescher said in a statement announcing the cuts, which had first been raised last month.

Contact Bob Fernandez at 215-854-5897 or bob.fernandez@phillynews.com.

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