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Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Sharp Employees Rush To Apply For Early Retirement Plan

Struggling Japanese manufacturer Sharp has cut its voluntary retirement program as applicants quickly exceeded its goal of 2,000 early retirees.

The company said Tuesday that it ended the program after a week, having received 2,960 applicants, about 10 percent of its Japan-based workforce. Previously, Sharp planned to run for two weeks targeting about 2,000 retirees.

Announced in August, Sharp's retirement program is part of its restructuring efforts. The company forecasts a US$5.6 billion loss this fiscal year.

The job cuts are taking place as Sharp negotiates with major foreign IT companies such as Intel and Hon Hai Precision Industry.

Although the company has secured loans from its banks, it is still trying to to deal with a major cash crunch. In the meantime, the company runs some of the largest LCD assembly lines in the world and has been trying to shift production away from televisions to the market for smartphone and tablet displays.

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