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NORTH ANDOVER, MA-In a move that took many in the telecommunications industry by surprise, Lucent Technologies plans to cut an additional 20,000 jobs. The move is the latest in a series of cuts by the struggling manufacturer of telecommunications equipment that will leave Lucent employing under 60,000 people, or less than half as many as it did in January.

According to Bill Price, company spokesperson, Lucent has not yet determined how the cuts will affect employees and facilities in this state. In the past few years the company was on a buying spree and acquired 12 high tech start-ups here. After the last round of layoffs in which Massachusetts lost 1,500 jobs, Lucent now has 7,600 employees in Massachusetts. Its fiber-optic plant here employs 4,000 people, and the company also has facilities in Cambridge, Hyannis, Westford, Foxborough, Marlborough, Andover and Haverhill.

“We are still developing a plan as far as restructuring the company,” Price tells GlobeSt.com, emphasizing that that includes what will be done with the facilities in this state. Lucent has just sold its optical-fiber manufacturing business for $2.75 billion to Japan-based Furukawa Electric Co. The deal includes a 500-employee plant in Sturbridge. Lucent revenues dropped to $5.82 billion from $5.915 billion the prior quarter, and it reported a loss of 35 cents a share. Overall, counting special charges–including $9 billion in restructuring charges–Lucent reported a quarterly loss of $3.25 billion, or 95 cents a share.

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