Christmas shut-down in Silicon Valley

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hacon1, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. hacon1

    hacon1 Monkey+++

    Christmas shut-down in Silicon Valley
    By Richard Waters and Chris Nuttall in San Francisco

    Published: December 21 2008 19:02 | Last updated: December 21 2008 19:02

    Workers at some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies will find themselves spending an uncommonly long time with their families this Christmas as the technology industry responds to the downturn with office and factory closures and enforced holidays.

    Usually limited to traditional manufacturing industries such as the ailing carmakers, the year-end shut-down is this year sweeping through the office suites and research and development labs of information-age companies.

    Apple has winning touch in festive sales - Dec-21Video: Tales from Christmas markets - Dec-21Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Advanced Micro Devices, Texas Instruments, Dell, Adobe and CSC are among the tech industry heavyweights to be taking a break, with some closed from December 22 until January 5.

    HP said: “The only workers left to keep the lights on will be those involved in “critical customer support”.

    The shut-down has been forced by belt-tightening across the sector as corporate and individual customers cut back on spending.

    The wider cost-cutting has hit even Google, the latest emblem of Silicon Valley prosperity. The internet seach engine has trimmed spending on its famed perks with steps such as cutting the number of restaurants on its campus open in the evening.

    In spite of the enforced leisure, workers will be hit directly by the closures, with most required to use up part of their holiday entitlement or, if they do not have the days to spare, take unpaid leave.

    Given that many US workers receive only 10 days of vacation a year, the effect will be biggest there, although most of the companies to close say they will be halting operations worldwide.

    HP said six days of its two-week shutdown would count against workers’ annual vacation entitlement, while technology services company CSC said employees would be docked seven days’ holiday.

    One Valley executive said: “Man, is it ugly out there”.

    He said the pain had spread from the wider economy in recent weeks. “It was nice to see record earnings for high-tech companies in the first three quarters during a so-called recession, and then the wheels fell off in October.”

    Chip companies and other component makers have taken the brunt of the initial downturn in tech demand, as makers of hardware such as computers and routers have reduced orders in anticipation of deeper problems next year.

    The iSuppli research company warned last week that excess semiconductor stockpiles in the global electronics supply chain were likely to nearly triple in the fourth quarter.

    Advanced Micro Devices, the microprocessor maker based in Silicon Valley, said its workforce had been told to take five days’ mandatory vacation in the fourth quarter.

    Elsewhere, Texas Instruments is temporarily closing many of its factories to run down its inventories. With its manufacturing operation running at only about 45 per cent of capacity, the Dallas-based company says such levels had not been seen since the second half of 2001.
    Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008
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  2. tommy20/69

    tommy20/69 Monkey++

    well look at it this way for some funny reason some super power is trying to make it possible that everyone is at home for the holidays this one last time.
  3. FireRanger939584

    FireRanger939584 Monkey++

    I work for a contractor that provides our services to a lot of the larger hi-tech companies. The client that I am currently working for has posted they expect to earn 100 million less, then previous expected for this quarter. In addition other clients of my companies are cutting back people and contractors as well as closing down sites. The city in which I live in has a large amount of hi-tech companies, primarily because of some big names who the smaller companies sell to and the local college. I can see if the big names leave town, the smaller companies will follow suit, if they are not already headed that way. One, called AE announced in September they would be letting go several hundred employees, with the possibilty of letting more go. There are places in our country outside of silicon valley that have a large amount of their economy tied to Hi-Tech companies, just like a lot of towns are tied into the Automarkets. IT is interesting to see though how, the high tech companies are not running to the government asking for money. They are simply reducing hours and operations or laying off all together. HMmmm, perhaps the auto makers need to learn a thing or two.
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