Bad news ahead for Digital Equipment's investors and employees. The computer maker is set to disclose on July 8 that it's cutting as many as 9,000 workers from its work force of 122,000. The cuts, say Digital sources, will include the first major reductions in the 30,000-person sales and support staff.

Digital, which has already admitted that slow minicomputer sales may make cuts inevitable, confirmed that it's preparing a July 8 announcement to employees but declined comment on the actions planned. Wall Street analysts have warned that in the quarter ended June 30, the company could write off as much as $300 million for layoffs and plant consolidations.

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