IBM is considering laying off up to 3,000 German employees, or 18 percent of its staff in the country over the next two years, business magazine Wirschafts Woche reported on Thursday, quoting a union leader on the company’s supervisory board.

An IBM spokesman declined to comment on what he said were “rumors and speculation”.

The Verdi service union believes 2,500 of the potential layoffs were relatively fixed in the company’s plans, with 500 more possible if business conditions deteriorate, the magazine quoted Bert Stach, the union leader responsible for Verdi at IBM and a member of the supervisory board of IBM Germany, as saying.

Wirtschafts Woche said 1,000 to 1,200 jobs are expected to be lost in the consulting and services divisions of IBM. Whether the job cuts would involve voluntary redundancies or lead to compulsory redundancies remains an open question, it said.

(Reporting By Eric Auchard; editing by Susan Thomas)

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