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Osram Faces Job Cuts Beyond Those Announced, Union Official Says

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Osram AG, the lighting unit of Siemens AG, faces more job cuts than announced this week as the industry shifts toward light-emitting diodes technology from traditional light bulbs, a union executive said.

Osram will have to cut more jobs after announcing a reduction of about 10 percent of the company’s German workers on Jan. 17, Berthold Huber, who heads the IG Metall labor union and is also deputy chairman of the supervisory board at Siemens, Europe’s largest engineering company, said today in an interview.

“I have no hope that at the end of this process, Osram will have the same number of employees as it has today,” Huber said. It will be a challenge to establish the semiconductor-based technology outside of Asia, where companies are pumping “billions” into it to push LEDs, Huber said. “The technological change will come fast, and it will come from Asia.”

The world’s second-largest lighting company said this week it will eliminate about 1,050 jobs in Germany by 2014 amid structural changes in the industry. Munich-based Osram has about 41,000 employees worldwide. Siemens shelved plans for Osram’s initial public offering on Sept. 14 following a slump in global stock markets.

Royal Philips Electronics NV, the world’s largest lighting company, is cutting 4,500 positions worldwide to battle slowing market growth in lighting and consumer-electronics. General Electric Co., the world’s third-largest lighting company, is also paring its lighting business in Europe.

Nadine Kleinert, a spokeswoman for Osram, said the company had no plans for job cuts in Germany beyond what it announced on Jan. 17, while Osram will also have to cut capacity abroad.

To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Weiss in Frankfurt at rweiss5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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