Electronic Data Plans to Cut Jobs
PLANO, Texas (AP) _ Technology-services company Electronic Data Systems Corp. plans to eliminate as many as 1,000 jobs while adding jobs in some divisions, but it gave few specifics.
A spokesman said Thursday the job cuts would be spread out, with only small numbers at individual work sites. EDS has operations around the world.
EDS has used the firing-while-hiring approach before. Its work force grew nearly 15 percent last year, to about 142,000 _ partly through acquisitions _ even while some cuts were made.
Spokesman Jeff Baum said the company couldn’t project whether its work force would grow again this year.
Some jobs have been eliminated in units that employed people to work inside clients’ offices, installing software or doing other technology-related work. Baum said advances in technology allow some of that work to be done from EDS’ own offices.
Baum said the company’s sales force and units that work on large technology infrastructure contracts are growing rapidly.
Prakash Parthasarathy, an analyst for Banc of America Securities, said some technology positions are redundant and that EDS’ cut-and-hire approach could improve productivity.
Some workers who have lost their jobs have complained, especially after the company reduced severance benefits in October to save money. The maximum amount of severance pay went from 26 weeks of pay to four weeks’ wages.
Ira Wallin, an ex-employee from Mahwah, N.J., is seeking class-action status for a lawsuit against EDS. Wallin claims he wasn’t notified of the severance-policy change before losing his job, causing him financial and psychological harm.
EDS has asked for more time to respond to the lawsuit.
Shares of EDS were up $2.97, or 4.5 percent, to $68.40 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.