BASF places employees on short-term work

BASF places employees on short-term work Frankfurt - Despite signs of cautious economic optimism emerging around the world, German chemicals giant BASF AG said Wednesday it saw no signs that the global crisis was easing, and announced moves to place up to 3,000 employees on shorter work weeks.

"We have to make adjustments," said BASF personnel chief, Harald Schwager. "An end to the global crisis is still not in sight."

The comments from what is one of Germany's leading exporters come amid hopes that the global recession might be starting to bottom out with key national economies starting to gain strength next year.

But Schwager warned that there were no signs of a sustained improvement in orders from BASF key customers.

BASF's decision to place between 2,000 and 3,000 employees at its Ludwigshafen headquarters in west Germany on short work follows similar moves by other German companies as they attempt to ride out what is the nation's biggest economic slump since World War II. (dpa)