News In Brief

Troubled Lucent Technologies is preparing for yet another wave of layoffs, The Wall Street Journal reported. Citing "people close to the situation," the newspaper said the cuts could exceed 10,000 and likely would be announced late next month with a report on third-quarter earnings. Since Jan. 1, the Murray Hill, N.J., company has announced job cuts and retirement-buyout offers numbering 26,000. Also on Tuesday, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Lucent's debt rating to junk-bond status, joining Standard & Poor's, which made the same move June 13.

In a major shift of its operating strategy, Alcatel, the French telecommunications giant, will all but abandon manufacturing to concentrate on providing networking and services, its chairman said. Serge Tchuruk told the European edition of The Wall Street Journal that Alcatel would keep only 12 of its remaining factories. Tchuruk also said the company was negotiating with employee unions over an unspecified number of layoffs. Earlier this month, Alcatel announced it will close three US facilities and lay off 900 workers.

Without an infusion of $860 million by September, Sabena Airlines cannot escape bankruptcy, according to newspaper and broadcast reports in Belgium. Moreover, the bailout would have to be coupled with up to 1,700 job cuts, the reports said. The struggling carrier is co-owned by the Belgian government and Swissair Group, which itself is experiencing financial troubles. Sabena, one of the world's oldest airlines, carried 10.9 million passengers to destinations in 52 counties last year.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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