Forget the recession, it’s bird flu season

Panasonic orders employees to send families back to Japan over pandemic fears

Workers at the Japanese electronics maker Panasonic have bigger fears than layoffs these days. Yes, the company is looking to slash 15,000 jobs this year, but the real concern now is bird flu. The company has ordered staff in parts of Asia, Africa, eastern Europe and South America to send their families back to Japan over fears of a potential influenza pandemic. The company said the move has nothing to do with cost cutting, but is based on fears that in a widespread outbreak of bird flu, its employees would not have proper access to health care.