LONDON According to online reports design services company Accent Spa, began the process of laying off 19 engineers or about 30 percent of its engineering staff in March. Engineers have taken strike action incensed by Accent's plans to cut staff in Europe after announcing expansion in China.
According to one report the lay-offs include 10 engineers at the Vimercate office, two in the Pavia office and seven engineers from the Genova office. These 19 redundancies are out of a total number of 66 engineers involved in design activities.
The same report said that 2008 was Accent's best year in terms of financial results since its founding in 1993, with revenues of more than 18 million euro (more than $24 million).
Accent, which includes former ST boss Pasquale Pistorio and EDA guru Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli on its board of directors, announced the opening of a design and operations center in Shanghai, China, on Feb. 9. "We are very excited about the opening of our Shanghai office and see this as another important milestone of Accent's ongoing growth," Federico Arcelli, CEO of Accent, said in statement issued at the time. The statement did not say how many staff or how many engineers Accent planned to hire in Shanghai. "This opening will also enable Accent to fully capitalize on design and manufacturing capabilities available in Asia for the benefit of our customers worldwide," Arcelli was quoted as saying.
Accent's Italian workers have proposed short-time working with a proportional decrease in salaries as a means for the company to reduce its costs while preserving engineering jobs.
It is understood that engineers have taken strike action and a meeting between the engineers and management is scheduled for Wednesday (May 6). An Italian language blog can be found at www.accent-genova.blogspot.com.
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