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Austrian Steelmaker Cuts Hours For 5,900 Workers

Voestalpine AG said Thursday it will cut work hours for 5,900 employees, expanding a previously announced reduction in a bid to cut costs and avoid layoffs.

VIENNA (AP) -- Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine AG said Thursday it will cut work hours for 5,900 employees, expanding a previously announced reduction in a bid to cut costs.

The Linz-based company said the affected workers would move to part-time status starting May 1 and running through Oct. 31.

"Further steps have not been ruled out" as Voestalpine struggles to remain profitable amid the global economic downturn, spokesman Gerhard Kuerner said. He said the company was doing everything possible to avoid layoffs.

Voestalpine had announced in January that it would move about 10 percent of its 42,000 employees to part-time.

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