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Most laid-off Sony employees back on the job

| Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Sony Technology Center-Pittsburgh has recalled most of the workers who were laid off temporarily in January from the television manufacturing complex.

Slow holiday television sales and high inventories resulted in an operational shutdown among the company's five business units, the first time that all of the plant's business units were affected at once. The soft market forced Sony to lay off about 1,000 of 2,800 permanent employees.

Business conditions are improving gradually, and fewer than 100 workers remained idled Monday, according to Sony spokesman Michael L. Koff. The layoffs were announced Jan. 24, and the company said most workers would be recalled by April 1.

"It (recall levels) will still seesaw over the next month or so while inventory is stabilized. But everything we said in January has come to pass," Koff said.

Sony Technology Center-Pittsburgh comprises five businesses: Sony Electronics, American Video Glass Co., Sony Chemicals Corp., Display Systems Services Co. and Sony Logistics America.

One affected business unit -- Display Systems Services Co. -- will be phased out by April 8, a victim of a decrease in repair volume as consumers have shifted away from computer monitors with picture tubes to liquid crystal displays.

About 60 employees worked in Display Systems Services, but not all will be leaving Sony.

"The last day is April 8. But for all intents and purposes, it's shut down. Some of those workers are being recalled to other places in the plant," Koff said.

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