CORNING, N.Y., Sept. 4 -- Corning Incorporated is reducing its worldwide optical fiber workforce by approximately 1,000 employees by the end of 2001 in response to the continuing downturn in the telecommunications sector. The reductions will include hourly and salaried employees primarily at manufacturing locations.
James B. Flaws, Corning's chief financial officer, said the company has seen a sudden slowing in orders across all fiber product lines, and now expects overall market growth for optical fiber in 2001 to be significantly less than the previous 15 percent outlook. Corning said its unit shipments of optical fiber and cable in the second half of the year will be less than the same period in 2000. Corning continues to see a downward trend in demand for its LEAF and MetroCor fiber products, however the company still expects its premium fiber products, as a percentage of total fiber volume, to be at 20 percent or less for the year. "While year over year fiber pricing has remained stable through August, we expect that average pricing for the year could be down by the previously disclosed zero to five percent range," Flaws said.