Corning is to reduce its worldwide optical fibre workforce by approximately 1,000 employees by the end of 2001 in response to the continuing downturn in the telecommunications sector. These reductions will include hourly and salaried employees primarily at manufacturing locations.
According to Corning, the action is being taken to match overall operations with the weakening demand for optical fibre and cable, primarily in North America and Europe. James B. Flaws, Corning’s chief financial officer, said the company has seen a sudden slowing in orders across all fibre product lines, and now expects overall market growth for optical fibre in 2001 to be significantly less than the previous 15 percent outlook.
Corning said its unit shipments of optical fibre and cable in the second half of the year will be less than the same period in 2000. Corning continues to see a downward trend in demand for its LEAF and MetroCor fibre products. However, the company still expects its premium fibre products, as a percentage of total fibre volume, to be at 20 percent or less for the year.
The announcement brings Corning’s 2001 reductions to approximately 8,000 positions or about 20 percent of its total global workforce of 41,000 at the beginning of the year.
Corning anticipates that the costs of these reductions will be included in a previously announced $300 million to $400 million restructuring charge which will be recorded in the second half of this year.