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ImageAgilent Technologies announced a 10 per cent cut in employees salaries across the worldwide starting effecting January 1.

It's the first time Agilent has ordered an across-the-board, companywide pay cut since the depths of the dotcom bust. The company slashed salaries by 10 per cent between November 2001 and August 2002. Agilent also cut thousands of jobs during the tech crash.

The pay cut is expected to last through October 31, 2009, the end of Agilent's current fiscal year, and will save about $110 million, or 1,100 jobs, Weber said. The decision means an average wage cut of about $5,500 for the company's 20,000 employees.

Agilent CEO Bill Sullivan notified employees of the pay cut Monday, Weber said. The Palo Alto-based company expects revenue to be down as much as 5 per cent in 2009 as demand slows for its electronic test and measurement products.

Agilent is the world's largest maker of test equipment for wireless phone makers, but orders have fallen by 10 percent as consumers stop buying the latest electronic gadgets.