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Sunday, 8 April, 2001, 19:27 GMT 20:27 UK
Dell admits hiring too many staff
Workers in Dell factory
Dell staff are reportedly unhappy about the way lay-offs were handled
The world's second largest computer maker Dell says it 'screwed up' by hiring too many staff, leading to February's 4% cut in its workforce.

In an interview with Time magazine to be published on Monday, company chairman Michael Dell says the decision to cut the work force was a lesson that "when things heat up quite a bit, we should take some pause."

At the time, Dell blamed the lay-offs - the first in the company's 16 year history - on an industry-wide slowdown in PC demand. About 1,700 people lost their jobs.

Time magazine said many of the fired workers were attacking the cuts as poorly handled and unnecessary.

Hiring again

The magazine said employees were encouraged to sign an agreement not to discuss their package or to sue Dell in exchange for four weeks of extra severance pay.

But in the report, Dell said it had tried to handle the layoffs as humanely as possible.

It distributed yearly bonuses early and handing out packages of two months' salary.

Time also said that Dell, which is based in Round Rock, Texas, is hiring again.

However, employees who were laid off must reapply to the company, and many of the jobs available have lower salaries than before, the report said.

Dell sparked a stock market rally on Thursday, with an upbeat first quarter earnings estimate.

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See also:

15 Feb 01 | Business
Death of the PC?
22 Jan 01 | Business
Dell warns on profits
08 Dec 00 | Business
Behind the profit warnings
04 Jan 01 | Business
PC sales fall in US
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