The Layoff Outrage of the Day

Mike: I thought I would title the daily discussion to save readers any confusion about my intentions, which are simply to highlight a daily kick in the butt to the workers and taxpayers of America. Today I’ll discuss the often mentioned subject of outsourcing. While outsourcing is and will continue to happen, unless we demand accountability from our elected congressional reps, the following example is particularly egregious:  


“Offshoring” is a word feared by financial technologists, increasingly with good reason. According to Jerry Luftman, lead researcher of the Chicago-based Society for Information Management (SIM), “offshoring” has become the favorite buzzword of today’s bank CIO, replacing “reengineering” from 10 years ago. (For IT staff, either can amount to being laid off.)

Having crunched SIM’s latest survey numbers, released in November, Luftman has reversed an earlier assertion that “Offshoring is greatly exaggerated.” SIM’s June survey of its 3,600 CTO/CIO members, one in six of whom are in financial services, asked participants how much of their IT budgets they planned to allocate to offshoring. “It’s increasing from 4 percent to 5.6 percent,” reports Luftman, “which is a big jump, considering it’s been flat for about six years and was, in fact, down last year.”

This confirms what BS&T has been hearing frequently from bankers and vendors: Offshoring and outsourcing are on the rise — as one might expect when there’s an acute need to cut costs. However, as reported in last month’s issue, there are those who predict that the new presidential administration might limit offshoring practices, as President-elect Barack Obama promised during his election campaign…….

Hoffer says that while Union Bank started offshoring in 2006, it really focused on the strategy in 2007. “We’re not looking to have X many offshore [positions],” he reports. “It’s more about ROI.”

via Offshoring of Bank IT Jobs Looks Likely to Rise in 2009 – Bank Systems & Technology.


Mike: Let me restate some recent banking bailout news and stats. Why did our esteemed congressional reps send over $350,000,000,000 taxpayer dollars to banks for their, so far, unrestricted use? By the way, that $350 bn doesn’t include the money given to AIG. It was done to prop up a failing system caused by recklessness, corruption and greed. Banks, and non-banks like American Express; which weren’t banks but became banks, were given this taxpayer money to improve their circumstances, which would then improve the taxpayers situation. So how do these titans of banking pay back the taxpayer for the billions of free money

  • Failing banks, with this unfettered money from Uncle Sam, decided to start buying successful banks in order to prop up thier balance sheets. That’s easier than cleaning up their own books and returning to profitability.
  • The same outfits continued to spend lavishly on CEO pay, executive bonuses and retreats to heal their wounded pride.
  • The fed is lending these banks money at 0% interest, while the banks continue to lend at 5%-7% for 30 year mortgages.
  • Banks are reducing credit card limits, cancelling cards and increasing fees and interest rates.
  • Banks are laying off thousands of workers, but keeping those corporate jets and CEO golden parachutes.
  • Banks are saying that they are unable to track their bailout funds. Can you imagine if you told your banker when going in for a loan that you couldn’t keep track of your money, but you want 100k?
  • Now as the story above shows, these banks are outsourcing IT jobs and tech support. They have the gall to beg for billions and then layoff hundreds of thousands and then outsource jobs to other countries. I’m sure there’s a sweet tax break for the banks in job outsourcing provided by our dazed congressional reps.
Mike: And as a result of offshoring and a dismal economy, IT jobs are now paying less:

The economy is bad, and it’s hitting the IT sector head on.

The country is experiencing the lowest hiring demand for IT professionals in at least 15 years as extensive layoffs, cost-cutting and hiring freezes are putting the squeeze on higher-payed positions, like IT jobs. This is according to a survey of IT salaries from Janco Associates.

The mean salary for IT positions in mid-sized enterprises dropped 2.91% to $73,607. The mean salary for IT positions in large enterprises dropped less; it fell 1.2% to $81,128.

via IT Salaries Tanking | National Spending Journal – By Shoeboxed.


Mike: And you can add this to the list of banking deception, dishonesty and delusion:

* The 116 banks that are receiving billions in taxpayer-provided bailout money this year actually paid out $1.6 billion in compensation and benefits to their top executives last year – even though the results at some of these institutions were so poor that they would soon have to turn to Washington for a government-engineered rescue.

via Banks That Got $188 Billion in Bailout Money This Year Paid Out $1.6 Billion to Top Execs Last Year.

Bank of American Corp. (BAC), which is getting $15 billion from the U.S. government as part of the Treasury Department’s $250 billion “recapitalization” effort, is doubling its stake in state-owned China Construction Bank Corp., and will hold a 20% stake worth $24 billion in China’s second-largest lender when that deal is finalized.

* PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC), which will get $7.7 billion from Treasury’s Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), is using that cash infusion to help finance its $5.2 billion buyout of embattled National City Corp. (NCC).

via Billions in U.S. Bank Rescue Funds are Fueling Buyouts Worldwide – Instead of Lending at Home.


Mike: If you are outraged by this continued taxpayer fleecing there is but one option, and that is to write your congressional reps and demand accountability and an explanation as to why they are allowing this all to happen with congressional approval. You can find your representative easily at Write or call your rep because it’s the only way they will pay attention to American workers

 – Thanks for listening. That’s the Layoff Outrage of the Day: Please feel free to discuss this in the comments area.


Mike: – Today’s big news is Thursday: Jobless Claims. which came in better and worse than expected, again. More on this later today.

* WASHINGTON (AP) — New claims for unemployment benefits dropped unexpectedly last week while the number of people continuing to seek aid rose sharply, the government said Thursday.

The Labor Department reported that initial applications for unemployment insurance dropped by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 467,000 for the week ending Jan. 3. Wall Street economists expected initial claims to increase to 540,000. The figure partly reflects seasonal volatility that occurs around the New Year’s holiday.

But the number of people continuing to claim jobless benefits jumped unexpectedly by 101,000 to 4.61 million. That was above analysts’ expectations of 4.5 million and the highest level since November 1982.

via New jobless claims drop unexpectedly – Yahoo! Finance.


Microsoft and IBM News/Rumors


* Rumors of Microsoft Layoffs

posted by DOMINIC HOLDEN on WED, JAN 7 at 1:56 PM

Speculation is brewing across the interwebs that Microsoft may announce up to 15,000 layoffs this month. Sources on the Redmond campus, who describe the departments as fragmented, say they’ve heard gossip, but nothing certain. Some have seen budget cuts and hiring freezes in their departments. One source describes the mood as “cautious” and says staffers are “worried.” Most at risk, they believe, are the battalions of temporary contract employees.

via The Stranger | Slog | Rumors of Microsoft Layoffs.


Mike: Cutting costs of office space is preferable to cutting jobs:


Microsoft has discontinued negotiations over leasing a new office building in Seattle due to the deteriorating economic situation, it said.

The company was originally interested in the building not for new employees but to help alleviate crowding on its suburban campus and to help consolidate business groups, said Lou Gellos, a Microsoft spokesman. The building, still under construction, will have 300,000 square feet of office space.

via Cutting Costs, Microsoft Backs Away From Office Space – PC World.


* Rumor Mills Working Overtime On Reports Of Pending Layoffs At IBM, Microsoft Even the biggest IT vendors aren’t immune from layoffs — or at least the rumors of employee cuts — in the current economic environment. This week the blogosphere is rife with rumors that layoffs might be in the works at Microsoft and IBM.

Rumors of layoffs of up to 16,000 employees at IBM are being fueled by postings on an IBM employee union Website, the Alliance@IBM, part of the Communications Workers of America union. Most of the comments hint of the ax falling around Jan. 22 or 23.

One Jan. 2 posting from “Tipster,” who identifies himself/herself as a Security and Exchange Commission employee, said he/she has seen documents filed with the SEC about layoffs that may come Jan. 23. “IBM is not 100 percent sure; but the fact that we have already been notified of these cuts means there’s a good chance the layoffs will go through,” the posting said.

via Rumor Mills Working Overtime On Reports Of Pending Layoffs At IBM, Microsoft – The Channel Wire – IT Channel News And Views by CRN and VARBusiness.


But in press interviews throughout the day, Microsoft executives talked about the economy and fended off questions about layoff rumors.

“We don’t have anything specific to announce,” said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division, when I asked him to detail how his division is cutting back on operating expenses. “We do what we always do, which is make sure we’re investing our dollars and our people, talent, in the right places.

via Chief Optimist Ballmer tries to cheer up the tech industry – TechFlash: Seattle’s Technology News Source.


* Under the radar

The law, which Gov. David Paterson signed in September, is more stringent than the federal WARN Act, which requires only 60 days’ notice to workers and the state; the federal law also carries weaker penalties.

– With Jan. 23 only weeks away, the state Department of Labor has not heard a peep from IBM.

If it is coming out, they’re keeping a big hush on it,” labor analyst Johny Nelson said.

But workers at IBM are on pins and needles, with many posting messages on employee Web sites that the ax is about to fall.

“The stress level has gone through the roof,” said Lee Conrad, national coordinator of Alliance@IBM, a group trying to unionize IBM workers. “People are left to guess because IBM is not forthcoming.”

via Stress levels rise at IBM as word of job cuts swirls – – The Times Herald Record.


General Economic News


Mike: Even WalMart is finally feeling the economic pinch:


* BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s December sales miss analysts’ expectations, and the company is cutting its earnings forecast for the fourth quarter.

via Wal-Mart’s same-store sales miss analyst forecasts – Yahoo! Finance.


* NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers reported dismal sales figures for December on Thursday as even Wal-Mart Stores Inc., one of the bright spots in the industry, finally buckled under the pressures of the deteriorating economy.

Pedestrians walk past Generations Menswear on 8th Ave. in New York Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009. Retailers are reporting dismal sales for December, confirming fears that the holiday season was the weakest in four decades. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

As merchants reported their sales figures, confirming fears that the holiday season was the weakest in four decades, the malaise cut through practically all areas from kitchen gadget stores to apparel retailers.

via Retailers report dismal December sales – Yahoo! Finance.


Mike: I like the thought of legislatures taking a pay cut, yet I have a feeling they will not cut their own paychecks; but they will likely cut everything else they can think of:

Assemblyman Richard Merkt today announced that he will introduce legislation next week in the Assembly to roll back legislative salaries by 10%. The state’s 120 senators and Assembly members currently each receive $49,000 per year, plus benefits, for what is classified as a part-time job. Under Merkt’s proposal, legislative salaries in each house would be reduced to $44,100. 



* ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 7) – Electronic unemployment filing systems have crashed in at least three states in recent days amid an unprecedented crush of thousands of newly jobless Americans seeking benefits, and other states were adjusting their systems to avoid being next.

via Surge in Jobless Claims Crashes Systems – AOL Money & Finance.


Mike: Not something that US businesses should be proud of:


A new global study by Right Management has found that employees laid off in the United States earn the least amount of severance pay worldwide – no matter what level of employee or amount of tenure with the organization. The global study across 28 countries draws from more than 1,500 responses from human resource professionals and senior managers responsible for making severance decisions in their organization, including 456 from the United States.

via U.S. employees earn least amount of severance pay worldwide – 01/06/09.


Municipal News


Mike: Missouri is a state that is running out of unemployment benefit funds and needs to borrow from the feds to pay it’s unemployed workers. With luck these newly laid off Missourians will be able to collect their due benefits:


* Missouri Gov.-elect Jay Nixon told 150 state employees Wednesday that they will lose their jobs effective next Monday.

via Nixon cuts 150 state workers: Business News – MSN Money.


* RALEIGH, N.C. — The state Department of Transportation has now laid off more than 750 temporary workers, an agency spokesman said Wednesday, as sagging revenues lead to further cost-cutting and delays for highway projects.

via DOT layoffs of temp workers surge beyond 750 ::


* The state Department of Mental Health, facing a more than $9 million cut in its budget, yesterday laid off nearly one quarter of the case managers who supervise people with severe mental illness and make sure they get the services they need.

About 100 case managers received their pink slips or will get them today, said John Labaki, president of the Department of Mental Health chapter of local 509 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents state case managers, clinical social workers, and others.

via Mental health liaisons laid off – The Boston Globe.


* POTTSTOWN — There have been more layoffs at borough hall. In addition to the 13 union and non-union positions eliminated as part of the 2009 budget process, add three part-time positions, including the only remaining parking enforcement officer and the borough’s only part-time water meter reader.

via Pottstown lays off more employees – The Mercury News: Pottstown, PA and The Tri County areas of Montgomery, Berks and Chester Counties (


* Macomb County commissioners this morning voted to lay off 10 employees in the first round of job cuts this year after union negotiations fell apart earlier this week.


US and some Canada News –

* EMC Corp. is slashing 2,400 jobs, freezing salaries and eyeing real estate sell-offs in a comprehensive cost-saving campaign as the recession drags down technology spending. Some 600 workers will be laid off in Massachusetts.


* FORT MILL, S.C. — Springs Global announced today it will start phasing out towel manufacturing and distribution operations at the Griffin, Ga facility and transfer production to Brazil. The phase out will begin around February 28, 2009 and be completed within 45 days.

The announcement affects 365 associates at the Griffin facility located at 349 Railroad Avenue, Griffin, Ga.

via Thomaston Times – Your source for local news, classifieds, business listings and events in Thomaston, Georgia..


Economic considerations are forcing the closure of the NetShape Technologies plant at 114 Appalachian Drive in Clearfield.

NetShape Technologies said the Clearfield plant will be consolidated into its plant in Falls Creek. The Clearfield plant will cease operations in June.

The privately held company manufactures powdered metals components for various industries.

via Courier-Express/Tri-County – Clearfield PM plant closing.


* The aluminum industry in West Virginia is melting down, and it could be taking Tyler County with it.

Precision, Inc. in Sistersville has laid off over 20 employees. The plant has over 50 employees. The plant has also been temporarily shut down since Dec. 31. Precision specializes in heavy fabrication and machining of components for aluminum smelters and other production facilities.

via Tyler Star News: Aluminum industry melts down .


* JACKSON, Miss. — Regulators said on Wednesday that Mississippi casinos lost about 2,300 jobs in the first 11 months of 2008.

via Mississippi Loses Casino Jobs – Jackson News Story – WAPT Jackson.


* CHAMPAIGN – Americall Group has informed the state it will close its call center in Champaign by March 6, affecting 74 workers.

The call center has been in business for nearly 12 years, having operated in downtown Champaign before moving to its current location at 103 S. Country Fair Drive in 2003.

via The Local Americall center will close by March 6.


* In response to falling aluminum prices and demand, Alcoa Inc. announced significant job reductions worldwide, including at Alcoa Intalco Works near Ferndale.

There will be 80 job cuts at the Alcoa Intalco Works facility, and an additional 10 contractor positions eliminated, said Mike Rousseau, plant manager.

via Bellingham, Whatcom County Local News | Bellingham Heral


* MONTREAL — The downturn in the newsprint industry has forced Kruger Inc. to cut newsprint production by 25,000 tonnes in the first half of 2009.

The Montreal-based private company says the production cuts will be spread out at two mills in Quebec and one in Corner Brook, N.L. But company spokesman Jean Majeau says a plan has not been finalized on how the cuts will be carried out at the mills.

Job cuts are expected, but the company did not say how the latest cuts will affect its workforce.

via The Canadian Press: Kruger Inc. reduces production of newsprint by 25,000 tonnes.


* BUFFALO, N.Y. – A longtime Buffalo company, Frontier Lumber, has been forced to close its doors after nearly 70 years in business.

The Elmwood Avenue lumber and construction supply company had been struggling in these poor economic times making drastic cutbacks last Spring . It finally closed with a workforce of 23 employees

via Frontier_Lumber |


* KIRKWOOD – L-3 Communications Corp. eliminated 11 full-time positions Tuesday at its Link Simulation & Training facility as it prepares for the company’s future needs, spokesman Rick Oyler said.

The layoffs were within the “engineering organization,” he said. He would not elaborate on the specific positions affected.

via 11 workers laid off at L-3 Communications | | Press & Sun-Bulletin.


* In a prepared statement, Trane confirmed this afternoon that it will lay off another 111 hourly production workers because of slow sales.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, we informed employees that we are

laying off 111 hourly production employees due to reduced orders for

Clarksville products. The layoffs are effective Friday,” the statement from Trane General Manager Doug Apelt reads.

via | The Leaf-Chronicle | Clarksville and Fort Campbell news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Clarksville, TN.


* The bad news for startups keeps on coming in. This time it’s RubyOnRails application hosting provider Engine Yard that has laid off 15% of its staff, as publicly reported on the company’s blog earlier this week. We’ve contacted co-founder Lance Walley and can confirm that 12 out of 82 people have been let go, across several departments.

via Engine Yard Cuts 15% Of Workforce –


* Jan 7 (Reuters) – Facet Biotech Corp (FACT.O), which was spun-off from PDL BioPharma Inc (PDLI.O) in December last year, said it would cut about 80 jobs as it tries to reduce costs and narrow its focus on oncology drug candidates.

via UPDATE 1-Facet Biotech to cut 80 jobs, narrow focus on oncology | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .


* Syracuse, New York (WSYR-TV) – Syracuse University has announced that it is laying off nearly 50 people as part of its plan to cut down on administrative costs.

via Syracuse University to lay off nearly 50 workers – NewsChannel 9 WSYR .


* Jewelry television has begun a new round of layoffs at its Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters, according to media reports.

A spokeswoman for the television shopping network was unable to release an exact number of jobs that will be cut but she did say that it will affect all departments.

via More Layoffs at JTV – 1/7/2009 2:39:00 PM – JCK-Jewelers Circular Keystone.


* ONEIDA, N.Y. – Oneida Ltd., once the world’s pre-eminent flatware maker, is closing its remaining 20 retail outlet stores in North America.

Beginning Friday, the company will hold inventory clearance sales at its outlets. The sales are expected to be completed by April.

via Oneida Ltd. to close North American outlets —


* ICT Group Inc. said Tuesday it plans to close all or part of six call centers in the United States and Canada and reduce staffing at its European and Australian call centers as part of a plan to move its call-center operations to countries with lower labor costs.

via ICT closing call centers, seeking lower-cost sites – Philadelphia Business Journal: .


* CRANFORD, N.J. – (Business Wire) Beacon Energy Holdings, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: BCOE) (“Beacon” or the “Company”), an emerging producer and investor in the developing biodiesel sector, announced today that it had reduced its work force at its Cleburne, Texas facility (the “Texas Facility”)…………

 The duration of this scale-back will be determined by numerous factors including anticipated future sales volume. The reduction amounted to approximately 30% of the on-site staff.

via Beacon Energy Holdings, Inc. Announces Reduction in Work Force.


* WALNUT CREEK — Virgin Mobile USA has decided to shut its offices here in a move that will eliminate nearly 200 jobs once the cutbacks are complete by early 2009, the wireless services provider said Monday.

For the most part, the devastating economic slump nationwide and globally did not unleash these job reductions at Virgin Mobile.

via Virgin shuts Walnut Creek office; 200 jobs gone – Inside Bay Area.


*  WEIRTON, W.Va. — Weirton Medical Center announced Wednesday that it is reducing its workforce by approximately 36 full-time equivalent employees.

via Weirton Medical Center Announces Workforce Reduction – News Story – WTOV Steubenville.


Koch Industries is in the process of reducing its Wichita work force by about 150 employees, the company told The Eagle today.

That represents about a 7 percent reduction since the moves began in November.

via Koch cutting 150 from Wichita work force | Business Updates |


* WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Noble Hospital in Westfield has announced that 9 workers have been laid off from the hospital’s clinical and non-clinical areas.


* The Marcus Whitman School District will lay off 12 full-time teachers and one part-time employee in the next school year. Additionally, a vacancy that will be left by a teacher’s retirement at the end of this school year won’t be filled.

via Whitman to cut 12 teachers – Canandaigua, NY – MPNnow.


* “In addition, Ahlstrom has started the process of reducing personnel at several plants globally,” Lang said. “The adjustments concern personnel both in the Specialty Papers and the Fiber Composites segments,” he said, adding that the measures will result in a reduction of around 150 employees.

via Journal Inquirer > Business > More cuts at Ahlstrom.


* SAUK RAPIDS — A cabinet maker laid off a “substantial” number of employees Wednesday in response to a weak economy and called in state advisors to talk to the newly unemployed about what happens next.

Crystal Cabinets Works Inc. cut employees at its offices in Sauk Rapids and Princeton. It refused to say how many workers were let go at both offices but said it employed 560 before the job cuts.

via Crystal Cabinets announces \”substantial\” layoffs | | St. Cloud Times.


* The LPGA wasted little time in gearing up for a season that doesn’t begin until next month.

Several staff members were promoted in a “reorganization of business functions’’ that Golfweek has learned also resulted in as many as seven layoffs.

Commissioner Carolyn Bivens, speaking with Golfweek in response to the tour’s Jan. 7 news release announcing the changes, would only confirm that chief operating officer Chris Higgs was among those who were let go.

via LPGA Tour | LPGA shakeup: Promotions, pink slips


Hartwell’s Tenneco plant is still in business, but 127 employees learned Wednesday morning they will be laid off for the rest of January.

The plant normally employs about 300 workers.

via The Hartwell Sun Online


* Wednesday, Asyst Technologies, Inc. (ASYT: News ) announced that it would additionally cut 15% of the company’s global workforce to further reduce the company’s break-even level and improve cash flow in response to continued weakness in the semiconductor equipment industry.

via RTTNews – Quick facts Articles, Positive EPS Surprises, News Analysis, Earnings, Audio News…. .


* SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc. has jettisoned a substantial number of temporary workers in a recent austerity drive spurred by the recession, although the Internet search leader still intends to spend billions of dollars during the next two years on product research, development and acquisitions

via Google cuts temp jobs but murky on details –


Morganton – Valdese Weavers laid off some workers this week.

Mike Shelton, president and CEO of the company, wouldn’t say how many were laid off but the workers included salaried and hourly, with some management positions involved.

via More Valdese Weavers workers lose jobs.


* FORT MILL, S.C. — Springs Global announced today it will start phasing out towel manufacturing and distribution operations at the Griffin, Ga facility and transfer production to Brazil. The phase out will begin around February 28, 2009 and be completed within 45 days.

The announcement affects 365 associates at the Griffin facility located at 349 Railroad Avenue, Griffin, Ga.

via Thomaston Times – Your source for local news, classifieds, business listings and events in Thomaston, Georgia..


WENATCHEE — For the first time in recent memory, the Chelan County PUD has announced layoffs. It will eliminate 10 jobs at its two Columbia River dams to cut costs.

via – Chelan PUD to cut 10 jobs at dams


Austin-based Motion Computing Inc. said Wednesday that it cut about 30 workers, or roughly 25 percent of its work force; the company also announced the departure of CEO Scott Eckert.

via Motion Computing cuts about 30 workers.


* As skittish consumers scrap plans for elaborate holiday trips, the phones at Collette Vacations have quieted. Advanced booking for travel this year is down 21 percent.

Yesterday, the Pawtucket-based company said it was laying off 40 employees, 9 percent of its global work force.

via Collette lays off 40 as recession hits travel industry | Business | | The Providence Journal .


The One Laptop Per Child initiative laid off about half of its staff Wednesday, leaving 32 employees on reduced salaries to forge ahead on “a new path that will allow us to realize the moral purpose of OLPC,” according to OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte.

via OLPC Sacks Half Its Staff, Reboots Mission – Custom Systems/White Box – IT Channel News by CRN and VARBusiness.


* NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Cytec Industries Inc. (CYT: 23.51, -0.52, -2.2%) lowered its 2008 adjusted-earnings forecast to $3.45 to $3.50 a share, compared to a prior range of $3.75 to $3.85 a share. The West Patterson, N.J., specialty chemicals and materials company said it would also lay off about 10% of its workforce, or 600 employees, due to the downturn in the global economy.

via Cytec cuts 2008 outlook, slashes jobs as economy sinks – MarketWatch .


Greater Baltimore’s work force is shrinking by another 250 jobs.

Shipping giant DHL Express Inc. plans on laying off 123 employees at its Baltimore facility and 65 in Hunt Valley, according to a notice the company filed with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

via DHL Express, Old Mutual detail layoffs in state DLLR filings – Baltimore Business Journal: .


About 70 employees of Roadway Express at 3700 78th Ave. West, Rock Island, will be laid off by March 1, the parent company, YRC Worldwide, has said.

According to a news release from YRC Worldwide, the facility will employ about 60 people, down from the current work force of about 130. Some laid-off employees may be able to transfer to other regional facilities, the news release added.

via Rock Island’s Roadway Express to lay off 70 employees /


* NEW YORK (AP) –– Drugstore operator Walgreen Co. says it will cut 1,000 jobs this year, or about 9 percent of corporate management, through a combination of voluntary buyouts and layoffs.

The Deerfield, Ill., company says the job cuts will come from corporate and field management and won’t include store employees. The targeted workers will be able to resign or retire with severance pay and benefits based on their tenure.

via Walgreen will cut 1,000 management jobs in 2009 – Yahoo! Finance.


* NEW YORK (AP) — Department-store operator Macy’s Inc. said Thursday it will close 11 underperforming stores in nine states — affecting 960 employees — and lowered its forecast for the fourth quarter after one of the weakest holiday seasons in years.

Stores slated to close include locations in Los Angeles, West Palm Beach, Fla., Nashville, Tenn., and St. Louis, among others. Cincinnati-based Macy’s Inc. says the closures will cost about $65 million, most of which will be booked in the 2008 fourth quarter.

via Macy’s will shutter 11 stores in 9 states – Yahoo! Finance.


* Sprint Nextel’s top executive said Wednesday that — even though signing more customers is the top priority — more job cuts are coming in 2009.

“From a profitability point of view, job one has to be about doing something about the top line and subscriber numbers,” Dan Hesse, Sprint’s chief executive officer, said Wednesday during an investment conference in Arizona.

“We can take costs out and we will continue to do that, just like we did last year,” Hesse said. “We will do more of that in 2009.”

via Sprint Nextel’s leader says company will cut more jobs – Kansas City Star.


* OTTAWA, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Teck Cominco Ltd (TCKb.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) will cut about 1,400 jobs, or 13 percent of its staff, as part of its plan to clip costs and keep competitive as commodity prices remain weak, the Canadian mining company said on Thursday.

via UPDATE 1-Teck cuts 1,400 jobs, 2009 coal production | Markets | US Markets | Reuters .


* Oscilloscope maker LeCroy Corp. yesterday said it was cutting jobs, pay and retirement plan contributions in the face of a weakening global market for both its sophisticated electronics and those of its competitors.

Chief Executive Officer Tom Reslewic said the company would eliminate about 45 jobs, or about 10 percent of its global work force. Only a “fraction” of the job losses would occur among the staff of 190 at its Chestnut Ridge headquarters, he said.

via LeCroy cuts jobs, pay, benefits due to economy | | The Journal News.


* The west Michigan based maker of Hush Puppies and Merrell footwear said this morning it would cut 450 jobs worldwide and likely close its Rockford tannery.

Wolverine World Wide said the job cuts in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and the Dominican Republic would result in a pretax annual savings of $17 million to $19 million.

via Shoemaker Wolverine World Wide to cut 450 jobs | | Detroit Free Press.


* The Crozer-Keystone Health System, Delaware County, Pa.’s largest employer, said it is planning to cut up to 400 positions in a cost-reduction move.

via Crozer-Keystone Health cutting up to 400 jobs – Triangle Business Journal: .


* KENTWOOD — X-Rite Inc. said today it will cut 90 jobs and incur $3.5 million in restructuring charges for 2009. The moves are expected to save $20 million, after the company weathered a tough fourth quarter and a chill in business.

via X-Rite cuts 90 jobs, lowers 2008 sales estimate – Grand Rapids, Michigan Business News – The Grand Rapids Press –


* While the il mostro racing yacht they built for Puma Racing departs from Singapore Saturday on the next stage of its around-the-world race, Goetz Custom Boats is riding out stormy seas back at home.

Effective Tuesday, Jan. 6, the company has been petitioned into receivership and all of its 75 workers have been laid off.



Windsor Vineyards laid off 16 workers this week in response to the tough sales environment for high-end wines.

via Windsor Vineyards lays off 16 workers | | The Press Democrat | Santa Rosa, CA.


* WTAP has just learned that Eramet Marietta will be announcing employee layoffs Thursday and Friday.

An Eramet spokesperson says 110 employees will be notified over the next few days of the layoffs.

via Eramet Will Lay Off 110 Employees .


* DES MOINES, Iowa — Meredith officials announced Thursday that close to 250 employees will be laid off nationwide.

Officials said 100 of the jobs will be cut in the Des Moines offices.  Nationwide, the company employs more than 3,500 people.

via BREAKING NEWS: Meredith Announces 250 Layoffs – Des Moines News Story – KCCI Des Moines.


* HARRIS TOWNSHIP — Brush Wellman’s Elmore plant laid off 56 hourly and nine salary positions Wednesday morning, Plant Manager Randy Drummond said this morning.


* Jim Schuster, chairman and CEO of Hawker Beechcraft Corp. sent all employees a letter today notifying them of pending job reductions.

In the letter, Schuster cites the current economic conditions and an “unpredictable business climate” as reasons why the company will be forced to lower its production level for 2009.

via Hawker Beechcraft to commence with more layoffs – Wichita Business Journal: .


* The struggling economy is to blame for a round of layoffs at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railway operation in La Crosse.

30 train crewmen, including conductors and engineers, were laid off in La Crosse, according to Steve Forsberg, general director of public affairs for BNSF.

via WKBT La Crosse, WI-NewsChannel 8-30 BNSF Employees Laid Off in La Crosse.


Mike: Canadian mining is taking a beating. That’s not a good sign in a country so dependent on natural resources as a means of wealth:


* A mining project on the Baie Verte Peninsula is the latest sector of the province’s natural resources industry to feel the pinch of worldwide financial challenges.

Rambler Metals Mining announced today that it will scale back operations at its Ming copper-gold project and lay off 18 employees.

via Business | Layoffs announced at mine on Baie Verte Peninsula .


* Only a little more than a month after an earlier round of job cuts, Butler-based Burt Hill laid off nearly 50 people Thursday from its international studio office located Downtown.

J. Rossi, the chief marketing officer for Burt Hill, the Pittsburgh region’s largest architecture firm, said the firm’s latest layoffs were caused by some major projects being put on hold in Dubai.

via Architecture firm Burt Hill cuts 50 jobs in Pittsburgh office; Dubai slowdown blamed – Pittsburgh Business Times: .


* Jan 8 (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) began laying off staff in its investment bank and capital markets group, the New York Post said, citing sources.

via Bank of America begins layoffs – NY Post | Markets | US Markets | Reuters .


* MIDDLETOWN — About 45 workers will be laid off at AK Steel’s Middletown Works facility, union officials confirmed this afternoon.

The layoffs are in response to decreasing demand for the company’s products, said Scott Rich, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 1943 — which represents hourly workers at the Middletown Works.

via AK announces layoffs at Middletown Works.


* Sluggish business is getting the blame for more layoffs at a Watertown manufacturer.

Stature Electric in Jefferson County’s Industrial Park temporarily laid off 17 of its workers for an indefinite period of time.

via More Layoffs At Stature Electric : WWNY TV 7.


Musashi Auto Parts Canada Inc. is feeling the effects of a reeling automotive industry and just prior to Christ mas it laid off 81 em ployees at its Arthur plant.

via The Wellington Advertiser – Complete Article.


Mike: This is one of the downsides of cheap oil:


Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil field services provider, has begun cutting about 5 percent of its North American work force amid a downturn in oil and natural gas drilling.

The cuts , which started Wednesday, will eliminate up to 1,000 administrative, operations and contractor jobs from the company’s 20,000-strong work force in North America, company spokesman Stephen Harris said today. Up to 100 jobs will be cut among the company’s 5,000 employees in the Houston area, he said.

via Schlumberger to cut 1,000 jobs, up to 100 in Houston | Energy | – Houston Chronicle


* VIROQUA, Wis. – A company that manufactures supplies for ATMs and retail checkout machines said Thursday it will close its plant in Viroqua (vir-OH’-kwah).

NCR says it will end its 40 years of production in Viroqua by March 31, idling about 80 workers. Company spokesman Alan Ulman says production in Viroqua will be moved to NCR’s plant in Morristown, Tenn.

via NCR closing Viroqua plant ––


* The slowdown in the housing market is claiming another victim. Door maker Jeld-Wen is closing its Rockford distribution facility as of Feb. 17, idling 40 workers.

The Portland, Ore.-based company did not renew its lease at the 5960 Falcon Road facility, according to a news release. Several years ago, Jeld-Wen ramped up door operations at other Midwest locations to serve the then-thriving housing business.

via Jeld-Wen’s Rockford plant to close – Rockford, IL – Rockford Register Star.


* According to Tami McLallen, American Airlines spokeswoman, on Friday, Jan. 16, the airline will lay off 170 workers at its main overhaul base at Kansas City International Airport as part of a planned staff reduction.

via American Airlines to lay off 170 employees in K.C..


About 55 contracted workers at Big West refinery recently lost their jobs because of problems stemming from the plant owner’s bankruptcy filing last month, a union official briefed on the situation said Thursday.

via Big West lays off 55 workers amid financial turmoil – Today’s Paper > Local News | – Kern County news, events,shopping & search .


* The Freightliner truck manufacturing plant in Cleveland will reduce its workforce by 1,290 workers effective March 13.

The second shift will be discontinued.

In total, 2,327 production line and shop positions are being wiped out at Freightliner’s four manufacturing plants, including three in North Carolina. The Mount Holly plant will become idle, with the exception of limited component assembly activities.

via – Area – Freightliner laying off 1,290 in Cleveland .


* The diamond exploration company is also laying off 89 employees as part of the cutback.

Saskatoon-based Shore plans to spend $17.9 million this year, including $2.5 million on its Star property, $1 million on Star West and $9.5 million at the Fort a la Corne joint venture.

via Shore Gold scales back budget, lays off 89 employees 


Vistakon, the Jacksonville-based contact lens maker, is laying off 85 employees.

Officials with the company confirmed today about 110 employees of the company are being let go, with 85 in Jacksonville.

via Vistakon laying off 85 workers in Jacksonville |


* Window and door manufacturer Andersen Corporation announced layoffs Thursday.

Andersen, which is based in Bayport, permanently cut 50 employees.

via KSTP TV – Minneapolis and St. Paul – Anderson Corp. announces layoffs .


* In a Dec. 17 letter to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, plastics manufacturer Fortis Plastics LLC said it intends to move its Elkhart operations to an existing plant South Bend.

In the letter, Fortis stated 75 employees will be transferred to South Bend facility, while others will be laid off. The company stated it had not yet determined which employees would be transferred or laid off.

via Plastics maker to close Elkhart plant.


* Officials with Andersen Corporation announced layoffs at the company’s Bayport, Minn., and Cottage Grove, Minn. in a late-afternoon press conference.

The company will be making 50 permanent layoffs and approximately 400 employees will be laid off temporarily.

via Andersen announces layoffs at Bayport and Cottage Grove |  New Richmond News  | New Richmond, Wisconsin .


Plum Creek Timber Company announced another round of layoffs Thursday, eliminating a total of 145 jobs and leaving an additional 221 employees temporarily out of work in Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Fortine and Pablo.

via Plum Creek Announces Sweeping Round of Layoffs; 145 Jobs Lost | Flathead Beacon.


* BOSTON: Shift Communications has cut about 10% of its workforce in response to gloomy PR forecasts in 2009.

Eleven staff members were told today, January 8, that they would be let go, according to Jim Joyal, a principal at Shift. The layoffs were spread almost evenly between the firm’s San Francisco and Boston offices. Those let go were “mostly but not exclusively” junior level staffers, Joyal noted. 

via Shift cuts 10% of staff – PRWeek US.


* As a result of cutbacks during the current economic downfall, the Lozier Corporation is closing its Cedar City location.

Dave Fox, plant manager, said the company is phasing out production beginning in March, and is officially closing in August.

There are currently 82 employees at the plant, located at 5080 West 400 N, and primarily produces store fixtures like display shelving for companies including Wal-Mart, Fox said.

via Lozier plant to close, 82 possible job losses | | The Spectrum.


International News


* TOKYO – Japanese electronics component maker TDK Corp. said Thursday it would cut 8,000 workers and post its biggest net loss ever this fiscal year, due to falling orders and a stronger yen.

The company — known to consumers for its DVDs, audio tapes and other recording media — will cut the jobs as it closes four factories outside of Japan, said spokesman Kazutoshi Kogure. He declined to comment on which factories it would close.

via Japan’s TDK to cut 8,000 jobs, forecasts loss – Yahoo! News.


* With rumours still circulating that Microsoft Corp. may be on the brink of jettisoning thousands of jobs from its global workforce, computer manufacturer Dell Inc. has become the latest industry heavyweight to crack beneath mounting economic pressures.

Specifically, recent rumours suggesting the onset of significant job losses at Dell have now panned out after the Texas-based giant confirmed that 1,900 employees at its long-serving facility in the west of Ireland are to be cut free as the company strives to reduce its costs.

via Dell culls 1,900 Irish jobs while turning to cheap Polish labour – Business.


Dell has confirmed the worst fears of Irish officials after announcing that it will cut 1,900 of the 3,000 jobs at Limerick in the Irish Republic, ending production at its largest manufacturing plant outside the US. The move is a massive blow for the Irish economy, and comes as the PC maker seeks to cut $3 billion (£1.99 billion) of costs globally.

Last month analyst house IDC warned that slowing demand for new equipment could affect PC makers next year, leading to industry consolidation.

via – Dell joins EMC and Lenovo in axing staff.


*  NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Jan 8 (TNA) – After experiencing global economic recession and declining purchase orders from overseas, two major foreign firms producing auto and electronics parts laid off 623 of their employees Thursday with severance pay.


Chinese PC maker Lenovo confirmed Thursday that it is carrying out a restructuring, which involves the company letting go of 2,500 employees–about 11 percent of its workforce.

With the changes, the company is targeting to save $300 million annually, according to a Singapore-based company spokesperson.

The announcement comes after a report surfaced earlier this week, saying that the PC maker would lay off 200 employees in its Beijing-based headquarters, including around 10 senior management staff. In response to queries from ZDNet Asia, Lenovo had dismissed the report as rumors.

via Lenovo to cut 2,500 jobs amid restructuring | Business Tech – CNET News.


WORKERS were reeling yesterday after the world’s biggest beer maker announced it was shutting a British brewery with the loss of 182 jobs.

ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV blamed tough trading conditions and high beer duty for its decision to close the historic Stag Brewery in Mortlake, South-West London.

Beer making began at the site in the 15th century and Budweiser has been produced there for over a decade.

The brewery, which also produces Bud Ice and Michelob, will shut next year.

via Sun City | Market report | All the latest business news | The Sun |News|Sun Money|Sun City.


* Staff at Total Produce in Lansdowne Road, Norwich, have been told the firm will shut its doors later this month.

The firm, which was formerly known as Fyffes, said 44 jobs would be lost. The closure will leave only one fruit and vegetable wholesaler in the area.

via BBC NEWS | UK | England | Norfolk | Job losses as wholesaler closes.


* THE Capital’s economy suffered another blow today after it emerged that 135 jobs have been lost following the liquidation of a printing company.

Leith-based Summerhall was liquidated just one month after being saved from administration by Livingston firm Stewarts.

via 135 jobs lost at Summerhall – Business 


* ANKARA, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Turkish auto maker Tofas (TOASO.IS), a joint venture of Italy’s Fiat (FIA.MI) and local group Koc, said on Wednesday it had laid off 657 workers amid poor demand for cars.

via UPDATE 1-Turkey’s carmaker Tofas lays off 657 workers, 241 leave | Industries | Consumer Products & Retail | Reuters .


* Aleris International Inc. has set a one-month shutdown-possibly longer-for most of its specialty alloy production capacity in Coldwater, Mich., resulting in the temporary layoff of 100 workers.

via (AMM) Aleris idling Mich. specialty alloy plant (UPDATE) – Metal Bulletin .


Mitsubishi Motors is preparing to cut some 900 more jobs as Japanese automakers downsize to cope with a slump in demand for cars, media reports said Wednesday.

via Mitsubishi Motors plans 900 more job cuts › Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion.


* Jan 7 (Reuters) – Fair Isaac Corp (FIC.N), a provider of credit-scoring system, said it would cut 250 jobs globally as part of an ongoing cost-reduction program and expects to reduce expenses by about $40 million in fiscal 2009.

via UPDATE 1-Fair Isaac to cut 250 jobs worldwide | Industries | Financial Services & Real Estate | Reuters .


* Profits slide at Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton is first big accounting firm to show the effects of the economic downturn, after reporting a fall in profits in 2008

Grant Thornton has become the first big accounting firm to report a fall in profits in 2008, blaming the drop on the economic downturn and the cost of its merger with Robson Rhodes.

via Profits slide at Grant Thornton – Accountancy Age.


Up to 100 jobs could be at risk following an announcement by F&C that it was looking to reduce its annual costs by a further £15m.

via – F&C review could see 100 jobs cut.


* MILAN, Italy (AP) — The Italian automaker Fiat Group SpA’s layoff plans are now hitting white-collar workers.

Fiat informed unions this week that 1,800 white-collar workers will be temporarily laid off for the first week of February, and 1,500 during the second week, the company confirmed Thursday.

via The Associated Press: Fiat announces white-collar layoffs.


* LONDON (Reuters) – Japanese car maker Nissan said on Thursday it was cutting 1,200 jobs at its Sunderland plant in response to a dramatic decline in customer demand.

via Nissan to cut 1,200 jobs at Sunderland plant | Reuters .


* Clifford Chance has launched a redundancy program in its London headquarters, with the Magic Circle firm potentially set to cut around 70 to 80 lawyers.

via – Clifford Chance Set to Lay Off up to 80 Lawyers in London .


More than 250 workers are to be made redundant at County Antrim engineering firm FG Wilson.


Hiring News


* COLUMBUS, GA – The Georgia Department of Labor’s Columbus Career Center will help Valley Hospitality fill about 200 job openings for full-time and part-time hospitality workers at Doubletree Hotel in Columbus.

via and WTVM News Leader 9, Columbus, GA | Valley Hospitality job fair underway! Hiring 200.


* The new Hurricane Wal-Mart is hiring 285 people before the store opens March 18th.

KCSG went to the hiring center at 1155 West State Street in Hurricane, to talk to the new store manager Alberto Rivera.

via One Company Set to Hire 285 People in Southern Utah | KCSG-TV St. George, UT | Local .


* South Whitley, Ind. — ShindigZ is bringing good news to the northeastern Indiana economy. Plans are in the works to hire over 200 seasonal workers through May.

via Indiana Party Supply Company to Hire 200 – Newsroom – Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.


The Brawley Police Department is looking to hire some more officers And they’re changing the way they recruit their officers this time around. KSWT News 13’s Jennifer Jones has the details.

For the past decade, the Brawley Police Department has been hiring officers with prior experience. But now you could be their next hire.

The Brawley Police Department is looking to hire 2 officers to complete their 36 man squad, And they’re looking for any average joe to apply. “No prior law enforcement experience, you will need to be an individual of good moral standings, in good physical condition, no felony convictions.” says Brawly Police Chief Mark Gillmore.

via KSWT: Local News, Weather, Sports Yuma, AZ El Centro Imperial Valley, CA | Brawley Police Officers Wanted; No Experience Needed!.


———-News you can use————


People who have been laid off from their full-time jobs can apply to attend Kent State University’s Trumbull campus for free in the spring semester.

Those who were laid off since Oct. 1, 2008, can have application and tuition fees waived for up to 12 credit hours in the semester that begins Jan. 20. Potential students must be able to prove that they were laid off due to the recession by providing a letter from their former employer or documentation of unemployment benefits.

via Crain’s Cleveland Business: Kent State Trumbull campus offers free schooling to laid-off workers .


Mike: This was a very active 24 hours of layoff announcements. I was trying to find a little more video, but the announcements came fast and furious all day. I’ll post any large scale layoff announcements as they arrive, but if it’s quiet I’ll just leave you with  a laugh or two …………….


The Obama girls start their first day of school, and Rachel Maddow doesn’t own a television.

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Ed Stein - Jan 8

Ed Stein - Jan 8



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