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Panasonic to slash 17,000 jobs over the next 2 years

April 28, 2011 |  3:13 pm

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Panasonic said Thursday it will cut 17,000 jobs worldwide over the next 2 years, according to a report.

Japan's largest maker of home appliances said in a news conference in its home nation that the workforce reductions were the result of restructuring costs as well as mounting losses and damage resulting from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disasters, plus the resulting nuclear plant crisis, according to the Associated Press.

The moves should benefit the Osaka-based firm in the long run, however, by streamlining operations and boosting profitability, company President Fumio Ohtsubo told reporters, the AP report said.

The cuts won't be the first to Panasonic's employee base. Over the last year, the consumer electronics giant has cut about 18,000 jobs, the report said.

Panasonic reported a $499 million loss for the three months ended March 31. The loss was blamed, in large part, to the company spending $748 million in its ongoing restructuring plans, the AP said.

The company said it could not project its earnings for its next fiscal year, which began April 1, because is not yet able to quantify the full extent of the damage its factories and suppliers have suffered from Japan's disasters, the AP said.

Panasonic did say that, for the fiscal year ended March 31, about $258 million was slashed from its operating profit because of the disasters, according to the AP report.

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--Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Photo: A woman looks at a Panasonic TV set at an electronics shop in Tokyo in this Oct. 30, 2009, file photo. Credit: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

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