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To cut costs, Dell asks workers to take unpaid leave

The PC company calls the measure "targeted cost reduction" during a slowing economy.

Dell employees received a memo from founder and CEO Michael Dell recently asking them to take some time off without pay.

It's not meant to be punitive, but rather a measure to help the Round Rock, Texas, company save some money as the economy continues on its uncertain path. The request made to employees is also an effort to avoid possible layoffs, according to a report in the Austin Business Journal.

A Dell spokesman confirmed the memo's existence and said that it was part of a wider program of cost saving that had been instituted. Besides offering one to five days of unpaid leave, the company has also placed a temporary freeze on new hires, eliminated contract employees, and offered severance packages to workers to leave voluntarily.

Though Dell recently met its goal of cutting its employee rolls by 10 percent, the memo stated that more layoffs could be coming if these cost-cutting measures didn't achieve the desired results, which Dell did not specify.

The company recently reported a 17 percent dip in earnings after a year of showing signs of good growth.