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Sony to freeze salary amid global downturn

business Updated: Mar 19, 2009 21:35 IST

Sony Corp said on Thursday it will impose a salary freeze on its full-time workers in Japan for one year to cut costs as the electronics giant braces for a massive loss amid a deepening global downturn.

The salary freeze will be effective from April, and Sony's managers with non-board posts will be also take a 35-40 per cent cut in their annual bonuses for the fiscal year starting next month, Sony spokeswoman Mami Imada said.

"Our business environment is severe. We've decided to take such action as we expect to incur a loss" in the current financial year to March, she said.

Unlike many Japanese companies, Sony does not award workers with an annual salary hike according to their seniority. Rather, the company merits workers based on their performances.

Hit by plummeting global demand, the maker of the Bravia flat TVs and the PlayStation 3 game console expects to post a 150 billion yen net loss for the fiscal year through March.

The gloomy projection underlines the serious problems at Sony's electronics division, where it has in recent years lost out to rivals including Sharp Corp in flat-panel TVs and even in Walkman equivalents to Apple's iPod.

Sony has said it is slashing 8,000 of its 185,000 jobs around the world and shutter five or six plants -- about 10 per cent of its 57 factories.