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Western Digital to axe 507 California staffers

Hard times for hard-working hard-drive workers

Western Digital is planning to lay off 507 workers, according to paperwork submitted to California's department of employment.

Under the US state's Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) system, employers must give a 60-day heads-up to affected staff plus state and local representatives prior to a plant closing or a mass layoff. In general, a company with a “covered establishment” that employs 75 employees or more is required to file a WARN notice if it lets go 50 or more employees during any 30 day period.

In the latest WARN figures [PDF] published by the state of California, Western Digital Technology will make the following permanent layoffs in these offices:

  • Irvine: 81
  • Fremont: 105
  • Santa Ana: 18
  • San Jose: 303

That’s a total of 507 positions dotted around Silicon Valley and south Cali. WD filed its paperwork in mid-May, and staff are expected to leave by early July.

Western Digital, which employed about ‎76,000 people in 2015, bought the flash chip and solid-state storage supplier SanDisk for nearly $20bn at the end of last year. Cost savings, in the form of layoffs, often take place after acquisitions such as these.

We asked WD why the layoffs are taking place and will update this story when we find out. ®

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