Siemens is cutting nearly 4,000 jobs and moving 3,000 workers away from its troubled telecom equipment unit, sparking fears of union outcry in Germany, the Wall Street Journal reports. Once a $30 billion annual revenue giant, the business has been trailing competitors in cheap-labor countries like China and struggling with a $1.9 billion bribery scandal.
The company was already breaking up its telecom unit, which supplies corporate customers, and seeking a partner or buyer. The remainder of the business employs about 17,500 worldwide and banks about $4.5 billion in annual sales. Its struggles may further darken hopes for European telecom gear suppliers like Sweden's Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson, which recently said it plans to lay off about 4,000 workers.