February 3, 2005 – Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said Wednesday it plans to cut staff by the end of March at its wholly-owned electronic component unit as well as at its in-house semiconductor and lighting companies through early retirement programs, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
The move is part of its continued group-wide reform drive to make each of its business divisions leaner and more competitive by the end of this fiscal year through March, the Osaka-based maker of Panasonic-brand audiovisual goods said.
A Matsushita spokesman said the company can’t reveal the specific number of workers expected to leave at each of its divisions through the restructuring drive. About 600 employees, or 6% of the total staff, at Matsushita Electronic Components are set to retire during the second half of this fiscal year ending March 31 as part of its early retirement program.
Matsushita said last week it plans to trim workers in its core audiovisual equipment and mobile phone operations, underscoring the need for the company to take steps to deal with steady price falls and growing competition from rivals in South Korea and elsewhere.
The company said Wednesday its unit Matsushita Electronic Components Co. offered an early retirement program to its employees. Matsushita has also offered a similar voluntary retirement scheme to workers at its in-house semiconductor and lighting companies.
Matsushita’s group-based employees totaled 339,607 at the end of September 2004: 150,474 in Japan and 189,133 overseas.