In a further blow to canton Neuchatel's economy, the Metalor company announced on Monday that it is to axe more than 60 jobs. The move comes shortly after the US firm, Silicon Graphics, decided to withdraw from the area causing 300 job losses.
Metalor, which specialises in precious metals, said it had taken the decision partly because it had changed its pension fund, but it also blamed the economic slowdown.
A spokesman said the 61 people affected would probably take early retirement. The new pension accord allows employees to retire at 57.
The workers concerned are employed at Metalor sites in Neuchatel and Marin. Workers in canton Vaud will be spared.
Despite the job cuts, Metalor said it still expected a profitable current year. Last year, the company made a net profit of SFr42.6 million ($25.3 million), an increase of 68 per cent on the previous year.
Metalor employs 1,400 people worldwide, including around 640 in Switzerland. It is developing its specialised divisions for medical and dental technology as well as treating precious metals used in electronic components.
swissinfo with agencies