In a bid to reduce costs, 1,000 3Com Corp. employees worldwide will receive their walking papers as early as Wednesday as the networking gear-maker starts outsourcing all of its manufacturing operations.

The layoffs will come from the 3Com’s manufacturing, product development and supply chain operations areas. The company said it will also be retooling the product development and supply chain divisions to improve efficiency.

3Com’s Canadian employees have not been affected as the company has no manufacturing or supply chain operations in the country. However, the company is closing its manufacturing facility in Dublin, Ireland by the end of February 2004 and will outsource all of its direct manufacturing, distribution and related activities to Flextronics Corp., in Singapore and Jabil Circuit Inc. in St. Petersburg, Fla., over the next six months.

3Com also established a design centre in Taiwan, which will manufacture and design all of the company’s low-end, standardized volume products. It will be operational by the end of November 2003 and fully staffed by May 2004, 3Com said.

This is not the first time this year that 3Com has slashed jobs. In June the company announced it would axe 10 per cent of its global workforce over the next two quarters – a result of the US$100-million sale of its telecom equipment division, CommWorks to UTStarcom Inc. in April. [Please see 3Com sells carrier business.]

In May 2003, 3Com moved its headquarters from Santa Clara, Calif. to Marlborough, Mass. where the company’s enterprise division – its core business – is based. [Please see 3Com moves east.]

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