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Hewlett-Packard is inflicting four days' leave on 9000 workers at its Singapore operation as part of its ongoing cost-cutting programme. We assume HP will be treating the time as an extended Christmas holiday -- according to an HP spokesman, quoted in the Singapore Straits Times, that's the timeframe for the enforced break -- but without extensive knowledge of Far Eastern employment laws, it's hard to say whether the leave will be paid or unpaid. HP has yet to clarify the matter. Expect news of further shut-down periods, as HP struggles to counter poor sales and high expenses. In June, it gave 3000 inkjet assemblers five days' extra time-off, and imposed a five per cent pay cut on 2400 managers for a period of three months. The company has also said it intends to divest itself of two per cent of its global workforce, leading to a $150 million charge in its fourth quarter financials. ® Click for more stories Click for story index

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