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ImageThe salary cuts also form a part of cost-cutting measures at software giant Microsoft. The company is slashing overtime, hours and pay for US temporary workers as part of an overall push to curb expenses during the recession.

Microsoft will cut what it pays the staffing agencies by 10 per cent for current projects and won't raise the rate it pays for temporary workers who return after a mandatory annual 100-day break. The company also plans to reduce overtime and the total number of hours clocked by temporary workers.

In a statement, the company said it talked with some employment agencies before making the decision. The move comes a month after the software maker resorted to its first-ever mass layoffs and said that it would trim travel costs, freeze wages and scale back expansion plans.

Microsoft has not disclosed how many contract workers it uses, and analyst estimates vary. According to most analysts, the number is somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 worldwide. The company employs an additional 95,000 permanent workers globally.