Computer giant Digital Equipment Corp., in the midst of a restructuring that includes the elimination of up to 6,000 jobs, has offered voluntary severance packages to some workers in its 2,000-person Landover sales and servicing division in an effort to cut about 50 jobs there.
A spokesman for Maynard, Mass.-based Digital declined to say how many Landover employees had been offered what the company euphemistically calls "voluntary financial support options." But an employee in Landover said workers were told about 100 employees had received the offers. The severance packages give employees the choice of leaving Digital with a financial settlement or finding a new job at the company. Affected employees who choose neither option are kept on the payroll and eventually reassigned.
The Digital spokesman said 3,000 of the company's employees left under the voluntary severance plan last year, reducing total employment to 123,500. Earlier this year, Digital said it would offer severance packages to additional employees to shave another 5,000 to 6,000 jobs. "We haven't used any layoffs in the company," the spokesman said.
Digital has been buffeted in the past couple years by changes in the computer industry, as small personal computers have pushed aside the large machines that Digital makes. The company's profit fell 18 percent last year, to $1.1 billion, despite an 11 percent increase in revenue.
Digital is one of the largest private employers in Prince Georges County. Until now, it appears, Landover has been immune from Digital's efforts to cut its payroll; the company spokesman said these were the first severance packages offered there.