Dell confirms new layoffs, may number hundreds

A spokesperson for Dell Inc. confirmed to Betanews this afternoon that the company is undertaking a new round of staff reductions at locations worldwide. This in response to an official with the Dell desktop computer manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, confirming some 300 staff reductions there today, to the local NBC affiliate station.

Though it was couched as not an official announcement, the spokesperson told Betanews, "We did make some staff reductions today in North Carolina and in other Dell locations globally. Today's actions are consistent with the streamlining that has been underway in our business for more than a year as part of our ongoing initiative to remain competitive by enhancing our efficiency and underlying cost structure."

Those comments imply that the layoff transition plan was already well under way, although according to WXII Channel 12, some employees came to work this morning only to learn they had already been terminated.

Dell began work on the Winston-Salem facility in 2004, and had successfully hired 1,000 employees in the first two years. But the company's goal, as promised to Mayor Allen Joines, was to hire 1,700 by next year. If Dell fails to meet that goal, the mayor told the local NBC affiliate, it may have to repay its incentives that the city granted it five years ago.

"I do want to emphasize that we recognize the reduction is significant for affected and other employees, and are working to minimize consequences," the Dell spokesperson added today. "Affected employees will be offered competitive severance packages, including career counseling and outplacement services."

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