FRANKFURT - The personnel chief of German industrial conglomerate Siemens considers it possible that short-time work at the company could be extended, he told the online edition of newspaper Die Welt.

In light of the partly dramatic developments in industries such as the engineering or the car industry, which we supply through some of our divisions, I would not be surprised if the current number of short-time workers would double, Siegfried Russwurm was quoted as saying.

Siemens in February said it expected the number of employees affected by reduced hours in Germany to rise to about 7,400 by April. The company employs 131,000 people in Germany.

In 2009, we want to avoid compulsory redundancies, Russwurm said. (Reporting by Christoph Steitz, editing by Mike Peacock)