January 15, 2004 2:43 PM PST

Sun lays off workers in factory shuffle

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Server maker Sun Microsystems is closing a factory in Newark, Calif., and moving its product manufacturing duties to a plant in Hillsboro, Ore., in a move that will require job cuts.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun said on Thursday it will lay off about 300 people from the Newark site over a six-month transition period as a result of the manufacturing change, spokeswoman Debbie Walery said.

Affected employees were notified of the change on Thursday, Walery said.

Sun, under intense pressure by IBM, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, has been working for years to cut expenses as part of its plan to return to profitability.

The Hillsboro site, with 250 employees, previously manufactured just high-end servers such as Sun's E15K StarCat. With the change, it will build more of those systems and take on midrange server and storage system production, Walery said.

In addition, Hillsboro personnel will take on Sun's "customer-ready" program to assemble hardware and software to customer specifications, she said.

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