Global telecommunications companies yesterday shed nearly 3,900 jobs worldwide in continued efforts to stem losses. The United States' second-largest carrier, WorldCom, sacked more than 60 staff in Hong Kong while announcing a total of 390 jobs losses in Asia, or more than a fifth of its 1,800 staff. At the same time, British firm Cable & Wireless (C&W) eliminated about 3,500 jobs in a retreat from its cash-draining Global division in the United States and continental Europe. The dismissals came on the same day C&W announced a first-half loss of GBP4.5 billion (about HK$55.7 billion), largely because of the provision it took on acquiring US-based data centres last year. A C&W spokesman in Japan said it was in early discussions about job losses in Asia, but they would be minimal. 'The losses will be in single digits, and definitely not in Hong Kong,' the spokesman said. C&W has about 2,000 staff in Asia. Another big employer, Worldcom, yesterday said it had slashed 390 of its 1,800 workers in Asia, following 17,000 job cuts announced just five months ago in the US. The bankrupt company said most of the dismissals were in Australia, from where it would relocate some customer service functions to Singapore. Hong Kong was second-most affected in the region, with 60 to 70 losses, according to Worldcom spokeswoman Rowena Kwok. Other cuts would be from operations, as the company scaled back development of new networks, and in sales, as it exited small-to-medium-enterprise business in some countries. It is understood that the laid-off staff will be compensated one month per year of employment, together with one month of severance pay.