Mike: Let’s hope Tuesday is a lighter layoff day than Monday turned out to be. Still plenty of earnings and economic reports to sway the market and the layoff announcements. There have been a few large layoff announcements this AM starting with Corning cutting 3500 and Ashland laying off 1300.
Outrage of the day: So the taxpayer pays to give retention pay to the same people that drove the company into the ground, which resulted in them having to beg the taxpayer for a bailout. Instead of being investigated, they are treated with kid gloves and buckets of taxpayer cash. Nice work if you can get it:
* Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc., the insurer that nearly collapsed because of losses on credit- default swaps, offered about $450 million in retention pay to employees of the unit that sold the derivatives, according to two people familiar with the situation.
About 400 workers at the financial products unit may get the money in two installments, said the people, who declined to be named because the payments were confidential. The business was responsible for about $34 billion in writedowns since 2007 as the market value of swaps AIG sold to banks plunged amid the subprime mortgage market collapse.
via Bloomberg.com: U.S..
* Citigroup, which received funding from last year’s taxpayer bailout, canceled their plans to buy a $50 million executive jet after the news drew disapproval from President Obama.
A Citigroup spokesman said Tuesday that the beleagured bank had no intention of accepting the jet.
Citigroup ordered the jet in 2005, when the company had cash to spare, and was set to receive it this year. The bank originally said canceling the sale would mean that it would have to pay millions of dollars in penalties.
A White House spokesman told Reuters Tuesday that President Obama did not believe “that’s the best use of money” by a company receiving money from last year’s bailout.
- Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors/News
General Economic News
US and some Canada Layoff News
* Yahoo Inc.’s new chief executive, Carol Bartz, will get a chance to elaborate on her turnaround plans Tuesday when the Internet company reports its fourth-quarter earnings.
The results, due out after the stock market closes, are expected to show Yahoo’s long-running struggles worsened during the final three months of last year.
* Layoffs at IBM’s microelectronics plant in Essex Junction are under way, but it is unclear how many jobs will be cut.
According to an IBM employee who asked to remain anonymous said this morning, “I just received a call from my manager,” said the IBM employee, who works on the manufacturing segment of the local plant. “They performed a resource action … my personal job wasn’t affected, but others in my department were.”
* IBM has had two rounds of layoffs within the past two weeks, a company spokesman said.
“We did this last week on the 21st and today,” said IBM spokesman Doug Shelton, referring to the layoffs.
Shelton would not comment on how many IBM employees were laid off, what departments they worked in and where they were located.
* Before cutbacks, R&D soared in Microsoft Entertainment Division
Microsoft was pouring research-and-development funds into its Entertainment and Devices Division at an accelerated pace in the months prior to announcing last week’s layoffs, according to the company’s latest regulatory filing. The numbers may explain why that division appears to have been hit hardest by the cutbacks. They also show how abrupt the company’s financial pullback has been.
Mike: Below are some of the economic reports that are imprtant to potential layoffs. To see the entire list, go to:Bloomberg.com: Economic Calendar.
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“Despite the modestly positive sales influences which came from sales over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, the presidential inauguration kept consumers home watching television coverage rather than in stores,” said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at the ICSC.
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Prices in 20 metropolitan areas tracked by S&P fell 2.2 percent from October as housing continues to suffer from a huge supply of unsold homes, tighter lending standards and record foreclosures.
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The Conference Board, an industry group, said its sentiment index fell to 37.7 from a revised 38.6 in December, confounding forecasts for a small uptick.
“Consumers remain quite pessimistic about the state of the economy,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Research Center. “Until we begin to see considerable improvements in the expectations index, we can’t say the worst of times are behind us.”
The NABE survey released Monday, Jan. 26, was conducted between Dec. 17 and Jan. 8. It depicts the worst business conditions since the survey began in 1982.
“We’re in for quite a serious downturn,” said Premus, who predicts an economic crisis unrivaled during the lives of the Baby Boomers and subsequent generations. “It’s really just beginning.”
* Nevada’s unemployment rate jumped to 9.1 percent in December. That is a full percentage point higher than it was in the previous month.
Nevada’s unemployment rate is the highest it has been in more than two decades and the eighth highest in the nation for December.
* Nine out of 10 companies have put cost-cutting strategies in place — from hiring freezes to furloughs — in hopes of weathering the recession.
That’s according to a national survey released this week by Chicago-based job placement consultancy Challenger Gray & Christmas Inc.
* The Carroll County sheriff said Monday that five jail employees will be laid off as a result of an economic crunch.
Sheriff Dale Williams said the cuts will take effect in mid-February. Four part-time workers and one full-time worker will be laid off.
* The Brandon Board of Aldermen has laid off 10 employees in several departments and cut six open positions.
* MONROE, N.C. — The sheriff in a North Carolina county is warning that layoffs of deputies could mean a slower response time in emergencies.
Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey and the county commissioners would meet Tuesday to discuss the county’s $15 million budget shortfall due to the slumping economy, The Enquirer-Journal of Monroe reported.
County officials laid off 40 employees Friday and commissioners proposed laying off 11 deputies in the sheriff’s department.
* NEW YORK (Reuters) – Specialty glass maker Corning Inc (GLW.N) said its quarterly profit fell sharply due to a significant decline in demand for glass for televisions and computer monitors, and said it would cut about 3,500 jobs.
* The specialty glass maker Corning said Tuesday that its quarterly profit fell sharply because of a significant decline in demand for glass for televisions and computer monitors and that it would cut about 3,500 jobs.
* DENVER – OppenheimerFunds announced Monday plans to reduce its workforce by less than 10 percent.
The asset management company currently employs more than 2,600 people and Jeaneen Pisarra, VP, director of media relations, says the layoffs will leave 225 people without jobs.
* PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Chainsaw and yard care product maker Blount International Inc. on Monday said it will permanently close its plant in Milan, Tenn., by the end of June, eliminating nearly 100 jobs.
* Lighting manufacturer Acuity Brands Lighting Inc. will close its Austin plant this spring, resulting in the lay-off of 34 workers.
* GROVELAND | The dire economic situation that is forcing business closures across the country has hit home in South Lake County with the closing of a distribution center for a major retailing chain that is putting more than 100 people out of work.
* Animal pharmaceutical and health care product company Virbac Corp. is closing its manufacturing facilities at 3200 Meacham Blvd. in Fort Worth — a decision that will result in the layoff off 44 employees, the company confirmed in a filing with the Texas Workforce Commission.
* Motoman has laid off about 40 Dayton-area employees, affecting work sites in Troy and at its West Carollton corporate headquarters, a company spokesman said Monday, Jan. 26.
* Baker Hughes, the world’s third-largest oil field services company, began cutting nearly 4 percent of its global work force today as lower oil and gas prices dampen demand for drilling and other services it provides.
The Houston-based company started laying off 1,500 of its 40,000 employees in a process that will likely stretch over a couple of weeks, said Gary Flaharty, the company’s director of investor relations.
* PARIS, Tenn. (AP) – Nobel Automotive of Paris, which makes hoses and tubing for cars, is laying off two-thirds of its work force.
Plant officials told The Paris Post-Intelligencer that 44 of its 66 employees will be laid off within the next 60 days because of the failing economy.
* Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati P.C., one Silicon Valley’s most venerated law firms, said it is laying off 45 lawyers in a sign that the recession is tightening its grip on Bay Area firms.
The cuts, which largely affected practices tied to the capital markets, are equal to 6.5 percent of the firm’s legal head count.
The firm also laid off 68 staff members.
* Movie rental set-top box maker Vudu has laid off 15 percent of its staff, we confirmed this afternoon. This brings the current Vudu employee headcount to roughly 50 people. Dave Zatz gave us a heads up, and we received the following statement from a Vudu spokesperson:
* To cope with shaky economic times, the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History has temporarily laid of some employees and decided to close the gift shop.
* Hewlett-Packard Co. is in the process of laying off at least 150 Vancouver workers, and possibly more than 200, as it scraps its local Edgeline printer team and shrinks other engineering groups.
* Another round of layoffs is on the way for two Waterville plants run by Johns Manville. One of the plants is located on Dutch Road and the other on River Road.
Nearly 100 employees at Johns Manville are preparing for indefinite layoffs set to begin on April first. We are told a majority of those cut will come from inside plant seven on Dutch Road were they make microfiber which is turned into fiberglass mats for roofing shingles
* Breedlove Guitar Co., the Bend-based guitar and mandolin manufacturer, cut five jobs, or 10 percent of its staff, last week, said Connie Hensley-Jones, controller. Breedlove, which makes 15,000 instruments annually and sells to customers around the world, is projecting flat sales in the U.S. this year, Hensley-Jones said. Forty-six workers remain, she said.
* Ashland Inc. said Tuesday it lost $119 million in its first fiscal quarter, and plans to cut its work force by 1,300 jobs, freeze wages and adopt a two-week furlough program.
* BUTTE – The Montana Standard has laid off two full-time and four part-time employees as the paper’s owner consolidates circulation customer service.
* BRIDGEPORT — A northern West Virginia flat glass maker says it will lay off 75 percent of its work force this week because of the downturn in the automotive industry.
The 180 layoffs at AGC Flat Glass North America’s plant in Bridgeport will take effect Thursday.
* The Ottawa Hospital is eliminating 61 health-care support jobs, most of which are in the health-records department, it was announced Monday.
Only 24 of the positions are filled by full-time employees. The rest are part-time workers.
* Gevity HR said Tuesday that it is laying off about 10 percent of its staff as part of cost reduction measures aimed at saving the company approximately $19 million.
The Bradenton-based company, which provides payroll and human resources outsourcing services for about 6,000 client companies around the country, had 781 people on staff, according to Yahoo’s Finance site. Company officials said they would provide more details on layoffs and staffing later in the day.
* LECG Corp., which provides expert testimony and analysis, will cut 72 employees, close two offices and sell finance and accounting services operations in Milan.
* Yanagawa of South Carolina Inc. has announced the temporary layoffs of the majority of its employees. The layoffs, which will affect 145 of the company’s 176 employees, will go into effect on March 2 and last through June 30 of this year, company officials said
* ASHBURN, Va. (AP) – The Washington Redskins have made a second round of layoffs, dismissing six employees in the stadium ticket office and four seasonal employees.
* Volvo Trucks North America announced today that it is laying off 650 hourly employees from its plant in Dublin in Western Virginia because of declining demand.
The 650 workers’ last days on the job will be in March and April, said company spokesman Jim McNamara. Currently about 1,300 workers build Volvo trucks at the plant.
* CRANSTON – Cranston Print Works Co. plans to lay off about 75 workers, mostly in central Massachusetts, as its phases out a fabric-printing operation that dates back to 1824.
* Add Target Corp. to the list of companies laying off workers.
The second largest U.S. retailer said Tuesday that it will cut 1,500 jobs, most of them at its Minneapolis headquarters. The company started to notify workers of the cuts Tuesday, although the number of jobs affected is not yet known.
* On Thursday, one of the customers of E.K. Machines announced a cutback in its operations.
Officials at E.K. Machines then announced layoffs Thursday and Friday of about seven part-time employees who were in training. Errthum said the layoffs are temporary, but it’s impossible to know for sure how long they will last.
* It’s a waiting game for 140 employees at Weyerhaeuser’s oriented strandboard mill in Edson, AB. The company handed out 60-day notices to all hourly union employees at the facility, indicating they might find themselves without a job in two months.
A report by the Edson Leader confirmed that while the notices won’t necessarily result in layoffs, they have employees on edge.
* Elcoteq, an electronics manufacturing services company, will be initiating a mass layoff to deal with economic concerns, the company said in a “WARN” letter to the Texas Workforce Commission
* Edlund, a Burlington-based company that develops and manufactures foodservice equipment, is laying- off seven full-time employees.
* American Express has cut 46 jobs at its Linton call center.
The news was confirmed today by Stephen Feeley. He’s the director of communications for American Express Business Travel.
* Of all the cost-saving measures announced by major U.S. publishers in past weeks, those at HarperCollins have until now been relatively mild. However, this morning, the company presented a voluntary retirement package to its U.S. employees, raising the possibility of future layoffs. According toPublishers Lunch, the offer applies only to employees over the age of 55 who have been with the company for more than five years, and for now does not affect Canadian workers:
* Basilea Pharmaceutica is adding jobs in Europe and subtracting staffers in the U.S. as the developer positions itself to the conflicting regulatory responses it faces for a key new antibiotic. With a European approval likely for ceftobiprole, Basilea says it will add 100 jobs primarily in the EU to begin commercialization. But jobs in the U.S. are being cut after the FDA delayed an approval for the antibiotic.
* RUMFORD, Maine — NewPage Rumford announced Tuesday that it was eliminating 130 jobs. They include 30 salaried and 100 hourly employees.
* The Missoulian announced today that it has laid off four employees and two others were told their jobs will end Feb. 13 as part of a workforce reduction.
* DEERFIELD–United Stationers Inc. Tuesday announced the layoff of 250 employees — or 4 percent of its workforce — as it “adjusts its cost structure in response to the challenging economic environment.”
About half of the positions eliminated will occur this week, according to a release from the Deerfield-based company.
* The Waupaca foundry in Etowah announced today it is laying off 70 people according to ThyssenKrupp corproate spokesperson Matt Rhodes.
* Electrical products and tool maker Cooper Industries Ltd. (CBE: News ), Tuesday reported a slump in fourth quarter profit on charges related to job cuts and impairment related to investments. Cooper said it has doubled its workforce-reduction to more than 2,200, from the previously announced layoff of 1,000 employees, due to deepening deterioration in the economy. Cooper also provided first quarter and full-year 2009 estimates, expected to come in below current Street estimates.
via RTTNews – Latest Earnings,Upcoming Earnings, Pos Pre Announcements, Pos Pre Announcements , Positive Surprises, Negative Surprises, Hot Stocks, Stock Split Calendar, Stock Buybacks, Dividends, Negative, Positive PreAnnouncements,Surprises …. .
* The near-term outlook has become so poor that Valero, a company which prides itself on avoiding layoffs, raised the possibility of scaling back its contractor workforce to cut spending. Valero is also trying to reduce its full- time workforce by combining redundant positions and offering early retirement or severance packages to employees.
“That process continues, especially in light of the reduction in capital projects we have announced,” said Day. The company does not have a specific target for workforce reduction, Day added.
A 10% cut to the company’s 5,000 contractors could provide a significant cost reduction on the order of $50 million a year, and is currently being considered, the company said.
* Best Buy Co. Inc., said Tuesday it will resort to involuntary layoffs at corporate headquarters, even though 500 workers agreed to voluntary layoffs earlier this month.
The Richfield-based retailer told corporate workers in an e-mail and in meetings Tuesday that an unknown number of employees will be laid off on Feb. 19. The laid off workers will remain employed with the company for 30 days, and will get a less generous severance package than those who volunteered to leave.
* WOODBRIDGE — The future of the prestigious 61-year-old Woodbridge Country Club is in doubt as more than a dozen staff members were let go Monday, and the owners plan to file for bankruptcy due to a multimillion-dollar debt, a board member confirmed Monday.
* The Division of Athletics and Recreation laid off seven full-time employees and three staff members have applied for the voluntary severance package offered by DU, saving the division $665,000 per year, according to Dan Van Ackeren, chief financial officer of Athletics and Recreation.
Thus far at least 111 staff employees have left DU under the severance and lay off initiatives instituted in November.
* Saint Joseph’s College in Standish announced $1 million in budgets cuts today, including the elimination of 14 positions.
The cuts, which total 3 percent of the school’s overall budget, did not affect financial aid to students, according to the school.
* The interim chief executive of Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake says the hospital is laying off about 20 people.
* Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) — PPG Industries Inc., the world’s second-biggest paint maker, may cut as much as 10 percent of its workforce because of weak global demand from automakers and homebuilders, Chief Executive Officer Charles E. Bunch said.
PPG is eliminating fewer than 1,000 jobs under a restructuring plan announced in September and is considering boosting cuts to as many as 4,500 employees, Bunch said in an interview today in New York.
via Bloomberg.com: U.S..
* GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Fifth Third Bank eliminated 46 jobs in the West Michigan area, though those people can apply for 58 open positions within the company.
* Hancock Fabrics Inc (HKFI.PK) said on Tuesday it would cut about 30 corporate and store support positions, or about 9 percent of its corporate workforce, and take other actions to lower expenses.
* At least 10 Gaston County residents were among 171 complaints sent to the Better Business Bureau after L.A. Weight Loss Center abruptly closed 10 locations in the Charlotte area last month, according to BBB spokeswoman Janet Hart.
* Minnesota-based Hutchinson Technology Inc. announced today an additional 100 layoffs at its Eau Claire manufacturing facility.
Mike: I like the word “displaced” since it sounds so much better than laid off, or at least that seems to be the reason you would use that word to describe a layoff.
* Le Sueur Inc. Human Resources Director Paul Johnson said the firm “displaced” 110 employees last week, the company’s largest-ever workforce reduction.
* Columbia Flooring Inc. will lay off employees at its manufacturing plant in Danville.
The workplace reductions will “take place as the company manages production to parallel consumer demand,” according to a written statement from the company.
A representative declined to provide details about the layoffs when contacted by phone Tuesday.
* The economic downturn has led to fewer work weeks at the largest private employer in the Northeast Kingdom.
– Ethan Allen Furniture is scaling back production at its plants in Orleans and Beecher Falls.
* As part of its effort to get back on track financially, Crystal Cathedral laid off an unknown number of staff last week, including the church’s executive pastor and the pastor of its Hispanic ministry.
* Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) plans to cut 110 white-collar jobs and will close a Detroit-area design studio, the automaker said on Tuesday.
* Russell Investments, downtown Tacoma’s largest private employer, will cut about one out of five jobs worldwide this year as part of a cost-cutting drive, the company said today in a statement on its Web site.
The statement cited the “global financial environment,” noting that “Russell is not immune to the changed environment and is actively taking steps to reduce expenses.”
Russell has 1,100 employees in Tacoma and another 1,000 employees in 20 offices across the globe, a spokeswoman confirmed, so the layoff will affect more than 400 employees.
* A Rowan County company that transports newly-made trucks plans to lay off up to 100 workers by March 16, anticipating a dropoff in business from the nearby Freightliner plant, according to a notice filed with the N.C. Department of Commerce.
Auto Truck Transport of Cleveland said the cutbacks are necessary because Daimler Trucks North America – Freightliner’s parent company – plans to cut heavy truck production at its Cleveland plant by 50 percent this spring.
* Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) — Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said it will halt production at its Normal, Illinois, factory for 12 weeks, 5 weeks more than initially planned, to help dealers cut inventory as U.S. auto sales slow.
via Bloomberg.com: Japan.
* Several Plano ISD employees will lose their jobs under a plan to reduce the district’s multimillion dollar budget deficit.
School board members voted last week to approve a reduction in force that’s estimated to save Plano ISD $1.5 million. Under the plan, the layoff would target employees in two departments: elementary advanced academic services and library/media services.
via Plano school district to cut staff due to multimillion dollar budget deficit 2:07 PM CT | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth | Dallas Morning News .
* THE world’s biggest lead and zinc mine closed yesterday despite a promise that its $120 million expansion will be allowed to go ahead.
More than 300 workers were laid off at the operation near Borroloola.
* LONDON (ICIS news)–Clariant on Tuesday said it planned to cut 1,000 jobs to reduce costs during the downturn as the Swiss specialty chemicals company reported a 5% drop in sales for the full year 2008.
* Clariant also said it would axe additional thousand jobs, mainly in the SG&A area, to substantially decrease personnel costs. This is in addition to the about 2,200 job cuts announced in 2006 and almost completed by the end of 2008. The clear focus of the company would be on cash generation in 2009.
* MORE THAN 4,000 workers at the Bataan and Cebu plants of Japanese electronics maker Mitsumi had lost their jobs, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said yesterday.
* AMSTERDAM, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Amsterdam airport operator Schiphol Group [SCHP.UL] said on Tuesday it would cut 10 to 25 percent of its 2,200 workforce as a result of a strong decline in traffic and increased international competition.
* Scapa Group Plc, the Ashton-under-Lyne-based adhesive tapes maker, today said it was cutting 11 per cent of its workforce after year-on-year sales slumped 34 per cent in December.
* Bulgarian bathroom fixtures manufacturer Ideal Standard Vidima is screening its workforce as it seeks to slash 150 jobs by the end of the month, executive director Krasimir Kolchev said.
The job cuts will hit all departments of the Sevlievo-based plant, with work quality, discipline and education among the selection criteria.
* SingleSource Property Solutions will lease just over 30,000 square feet of space at the Southpointe office park in Washington County with plans to add up to 50 staff members.
In February the company will move into the space at the Stealth Technology Center, at 333 Technology Dr., from its current headquarters in Upper St. Clair. The move will result in a doubling of the company’s headquarters space.
* With our unemployment number the highest it’s been in several decades, thousands of Nevadans are desperately searching for jobs.
But there is some good news on the job front: the U.S. Census Bureau is looking to hire hundreds of temporary workers here in southern Nevada. News 3’s Maria Silva has more on the recruiting efforts and why the census count is so important to Nevada.
Mike: This was actually a better day than yesterday, but there were still a number of large layoff announcements, including Corning and Target. It would be a good sign if the improvement continues throughout the week. We can hope anyway. Until tomorrow, I’ll leave you with a laugh……..