Computer giants closing during week of July 4th to save money

The Associated Press
Friday May 31, 2002

PALO ALTO – Still facing hard times, computing giants Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc. will close shop during the week of Independence Day and require employees to go without pay or use up vacation time. 

Shutting down from June 30 through July 6 in the United States will contribute to “operational savings,” HP spokeswoman Judy Radlinsky said Thursday, though she would not elaborate on the amount. Palo Alto-based HP has 74,000 U.S. employees and 150,000 overall. 

HP executives decided on the plan after getting “good feedback” from former employees of Compaq Computer Corp. about its closure during the holiday last year, Radlinsky said. HP acquired Compaq on May 3. 

Sun is instituting a similar plan that same week, spokeswoman Diane Carlini said. The Santa Clara-based company, which has 32,000 employees in the United States and 39,000 overall, also closed over the Fourth of July week last year. 

Both companies still will count the Fourth of July as a paid day off. 

The cost-cutting moves come as the technology industry remains in a slump. A report released Thursday by Merrill Lynch said corporate technology spending is essentially flat this year.