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Temporary worker cuts

December 19 2008

Agilent Technologies Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Western Digital and Ryder System Inc. were among firms announcing cuts in their use of temporary workers this week.

Agilent Technologies Inc., a Santa Clara CA-based technology company, announced it was cutting its temporary workforce by 300 positions, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. The move comes as part of a restructuring program in response to deteriorating economic conditions, the company said.

Caterpillar Inc. announced Tuesday it was reducing an undisclosed number of contract workers at a factory in Decatur IL after an announcement earlier this month of cuts in contractor labor in Peoria IL, The Associated Press reported. Separately, the heavy equipment maker announced on Thursday layoffs of 814 of its employees in Mossville IL.

Western Digital Corp., a Lake Forest CA-based make of computer hard disk drives, said it is cutting manufacturing hours by approximately 20% as part of a larger restructuring plan and planned to achieve the reduction through reduced use of temporary workers, reduced shift overtime and employee attrition.

Ryder System Inc., a Miami-based logistics company, said Wednesday it will be "significantly reducing the use of contractors and temporary employees, where appropriate, throughout its operations." The move comes as part of a larger restructuring plan that also includes eliminating 700 jobs, primarily in the U.S.

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