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Corporate Pink Slips Turn Germans Red

Politicians are seeing red because companies continue to lay off masses of workers even while profits rise. Some seek new corporate regulations

The headlines have come in quick succession. BMW on Wednesday announced it was eliminating 8,100 jobs, 7,500 of them in Germany. Engineering giant Siemens announced on Tuesday it was slashing 3,800 workplaces worldwide. And Henkel, which makes an array of household products from cosmetics to detergents, announced Wednesday it is cutting 3,000 employees -- the largest such cuts in company history.

But that's not all. Every one of those companies will be posting sky-high profits for 2007. Some German firms, it would seem, are reaping billions while releasing thousands.