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Sony freezes employee salaries

Move is a first for the electronics giant. Bonuses will also be trimmed as the company attempts to stem losses.

To stem continued losses, Sony said Thursday there will be no pay increases for non-managerial employees this year.

Sony doesn't give automatic raises every year based on seniority--unlike many other Japanese companies--but instead awards them based on responsibility and performance, according to Reuters.

It's the first time Sony has ever made such a move, but the company's financial circumstances give it few options. Sony is predicting an operating loss of $2.9 billion for the current financial year ending March 31, the electronics giant's first annual loss in 14 years.

It has already resorted to closing several factories, laying off 16,000 full-time and contract workers, cutting salaries for managers, and trimming bonuses.

Sony is just one of many Japanese electronics companies that have been hurt by the global economic downturn and a stronger-than-expected yen.