- Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors/NewsGeneral Economic News
* Today, March 23, marks the last day on the payroll for Microsoft employees notified in January that their jobs were being cut. “They will receive their severance payout, additional pay for healthcare costs, and will continue to be eligible to use outplacement services for a defined period of time,” a company spokeswoman said via e-mail.
Mike: It is rather ironic that the many millions of taxpayers who work without health insurance fund the bloated health care plans of government workers and contribute to the trillion dollar bailouts of the wealthy, corrupt and clueless banking thieves.
* WASHINGTON (AP) — Cindy Ramer works full-time nursing the mentally disabled, making sure their medical needs are met.
But the 58-year-old widow hasn’t had a doctor’s checkup in more than three years, ever since the nursing home where she works decided it could no longer afford to offer medical insurance to its employees.
“I don’t think it’s fair that I’m caring for people and helping them with their health care, and I don’t have adequate, affordable health care of my own,” said Ramer, of Denver, Iowa.
American workers — whose taxes pay for massive government health programs — are getting squeezed like no other group by private health insurance premiums that are rising much faster than their wages.
While just about all retirees are covered, and nearly 90 percent of children have health insurance, workers now are at significantly higher risk of being uninsured than in the 1990s, the last time lawmakers attempted a health care overhaul, according to a study to be released Tuesday.
Mike: The following two news stories show a brightening mass layoff announcements picture. While that’s good news, its important to view these improved numbers against last years numbers, which show that mass layoffs have increased significantly. Monthly comparisons are fine for short term trend analysis, but longer term analysis is equally important.
* For the first time in six months, the number of Colorado companies laying off 50 or more workers at a time has dropped from the previous month, the U.S. Department of Labor said Monday.
* Missouri had 38 layoffs of at least 50 workers in February, down from 62 in January and up from 19 in February 2008, according to statistics the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released Monday.
Missouri reported 3,538 initial claims for unemployment insurance in February, down from 5,239 in January and up from 1,127 in February 2008.
Mike: It’s sometimes amazing that government is so unable to respond to crisis. Job losses have been piling up for over a year, yet government offices are understaffed, underfunded and technology deficient. Why don’t these government offices use some temporary services, such as Manpower, to work these unemployment lines to collect information, direct people to the right location, answer questions, distribute protocol information, etc. Sure budgets are tight, but going to the unemployment office seems more like cramming six lanes of traffic into one lane; it’s inefficient, unproductive and usually leads to accidents.
* Don Weidner figured he had plenty of time to get some fresh air.
“They just called number nine. I’m number 69,” he said while standing outside the Illinois Department of Employment Security office on Elm Street.
Weidner, a welder at Caterpillar Inc. in East Peoria, was among a large crowd of people hoping to claim unemployment benefits on Monday.
Mike: The stimulus is going to keep many a government worker employed and that’s the main reason why I usually don’t list smaller potential layoffs of government employees:
* MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Nearly 3,800 Alabama teaching jobs that were in danger of being lost will be spared for at least two years thanks to the federal economic stimulus package, State Superintendent Joe Morton announced Monday.
* About 100 Clayton County teachers who were laid off earlier this month got their jobs back Monday.
School officials delivered contracts to 100 of the 400 teachers who were told two weeks ago that they would not have a job next school year. The board will vote later this year on the teachers’ employment contracts.
* ORANGE, Calif.—The Orange County Transportation Authority has voted to cut bus service by a quarter and layoff almost 400 drivers, supervisors and maintenance workers.
* Houston’s vast oil field services industry took another blow Monday with word that Schlumberger is preparing for its second round of layoffs since January.
The world’s largest oil field services company, which in January announced plans to cut 6 percent of its work force, now expects “a further reduction of a similar amount” in coming months, Chief Executive Andrew Gould said at the 2009 Howard Weil Energy Conference in New Orleans.
While the first round of cuts — eliminating about 5,000 of the firm’s 84,000 global employees — should be largely completed by the end of March, Gould gave no specific timetable for the next phase of layoffs. A company spokesman did not yet know how the company’s Houston operations would be affected.
* CEO Andrew Gould said late Monday at the Howard Weil Energy Conference in New Orleans that the company — which is the largest oilfield service firm — is cutting another 6% of its work force in its second round of layoffs since January, according to published reports.
* LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Hospira, which makes drug delivery systems and devices, says it will eliminate 10 percent of its work force as part of a cost-cutting restructuring plan.
The reduction of about 1,450 jobs over the next 24 months is expected to save the Lake Forest, Ill.-based company between $110 million and $140 million annually.
* Oilfield services company Smith International Inc (SII.N) said on Monday it had cut about 10 percent of its workforce in response to the recent sharp downturn in drilling activity.
* Gannett Co. Inc, which is already mandating a one week of unpaid furlough for most of its employees this quarter, has ordered another unpaid furlough for many employees in the second quarter.
* The Ann Arbor News in Michigan said it would close in July and replace itself with a primarily Internet-oriented company called AnnArbor.com.
* In addition to the 82 companywide layoffs – 60 full-time and 22 part-time employees – the Observer will reduce the hours of some employees.
* Atop previous rounds of reductions via buyouts, the daily said today that it will cut pay from 5 percent to 10 percent depending on pay level and require unpaid furloughs of four days for full-time employees.
* HOUSTON: The Houston Chronicle says it is laying off about 12 percent of its work force………..
Sweeney did not specify how many jobs are to be cut or what departments they serve. Laid-off workers will receive two weeks of pay for each year of service, up to one year’s pay. They also will be offered career transition services.
* Maxwell’s final day as executive director will be April 17. The part-time financial controller position will also be cut, effective April 10. The Red Cross’ regional chapter office in Grand Rapids will handle many of the financial tasks, but the Ottawa County chapter also needs volunteer accountants to make up the gap.
* The closing of the facility located at 537 Fitch Street in the City of Oneida will impact 70 employees.
* Citing the global recession’s continuing impact on all of its businesses and markets, Corning Inc. announced Monday morning it would close the Danville Corning plant after the company decided to discontinue the two product lines produced at the local factory. The move is expected to affect about 200 workers.
* FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) – Between 30 and 25 workers at the Train air conditioner plant at Fort Smith are to be laid off today at a Fort Smith, according to a published report. Workers have known about the pending layoffs for a couple of weeks.
Mike: These are the layoffs that slip below the media radar. If you are closing two stores there are likely layoffs involved, but smaller layoffs aren’t required to report that important information.
* Active Ride Shop said Monday it sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closed two Orange County stores.
* Cummins filtration says it laid off 127 workers Monday around the area.
Mark Land, a Cummins spokesman, says 44 people were laid off in Bloomer. Land says that leaves 175 people at the Bloomer plant.
Another 30 people were cut in Black River Falls Monday. That leaves 163 people at the Jackson County plant.
And in Viroqua, 53 people were laid off, leaving 265 people at that plant.
* Citing the “huge toll” wrought by the economic downturn, Sutter Medical Center Sacramento has announced that it will lay off 53 employees as part of a move to reduce costs.
* ANDERSON, Calif. — Two sawmills in Camino and Sonora are closing this summer, Sierra Pacific Industries announced Monday.
A difficult lumber market, along with reduced timber harvests on nearby national forest lands and state regulatory burdens are the reasons behind the closures, according to the company.
The closures will affect about 300 employees, the company said.
* The company says it will lay off 135 workers on May 23 because of the continuing economic downturn. In February, Johns Manville announced 75-80 layoffs at its Waterville plant. The latter will take effect April 1
* Lionbridge Technologies Inc., a provider of technology translation and testing services for companies expanding internationally, will lay off roughly 325 employees as a part of a restructuring plan to reduce overhead costs.
* BRILLION, Wis. – A Brillion foundry is laying off 80 workers and furloughing others for two weeks.
* Nearly 60 workers were expected to get the bad news here at the Alcan Sebree aluminum plant, more victims of the struggling economy.
* Baltimore money manager Legg Mason Inc. laid off 20 employees — including 12 people at its Light Street headquarters — last week in response to continuing market volatility and its struggling financial performance.
*Empire Aero Center eliminated 35 positions at its aircraft maintenance facility Monday, citing the need to improve efficiency.
* DETROIT — Dreaded white-collar job cuts at General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) started Tuesday as the wounded automaker began to deliver on promises to the government to shrink its work force so it can be profitable at lower sales levels.
On Tuesday morning, GM told 160 people at its manufacturing engineering operations in Warren, Mich., that they would be laid off as of April 1, spokesman Tom Wilkinson said.
* A majority of partners at DLA Piper’s U.S. offices will see paychecks drop by 11.5 percent this year, according to a report by The Recorder, a legal trade publication in San Francisco.
* Eastman Kodak is closing two divisions at its Windsor plant in a move that will eliminate 300 jobs.
The plant’s motion-picture film and lithographic plate units will be consolidated into other Kodak facilities in Rochester, N.Y. and Columbus, Ga.
* Subprime mortgage firm Accredited Home Lenders said it has laid off 38 at its West Chester Office, according to a filing with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
* Angus-Palm Industries told the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Friday that it laid off 181 workers between last August and last week.
* The plant, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, employed about 170 employees, many of whom are unionized. About 130 were called back to work last month.
* Exide Technologies has announced that it is temporarily closing its battery recycling facility in Baton Rouge, La.
* In another blow to the region’s struggling manufacturing sector, U.S.-based Carlisle Company Inc. is closing its Brantford plant, putting 48 people out of work.
* Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) says it will close its Camino sawmill by June 12. The decision affects 164 workers. Also, SPI’s mill and biomass electric power plant in Sonora are being shutdown. That closure means the loss of 146 jobs by mid-July.
* A company started in Rockford in 1984 won’t finish its 25th anniversary year here because its parent company is consolidating operations in Pennsylvania, eliminating 25 local jobs.
* Public relations tycoon Porter Novelli shed 15 percent of its staff at its D.C. office at 1909 K Street NW, according to a report by PR Week.
* Special Metals, a company that makes material used in airplane turbine blades, has laid off 17 hourly workers, a spokesman said Tuesday.
* St. John’s Hospital will lay off 38 people — primarily managers — from its 3,000-member workforce “to continue to address current economic trends while positioning St. John’s for future growth,” the hospital’s chief executive said today.
* German automotive cable and wiring supplier Leoni (LEOGn.DE) has cut 4,000 jobs since the start of the year as it braces itself for a sharp drop in revenue and a further hit to profits in 2009.
* March 24 (Bloomberg) — HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest bank by market value, may cut about 1,000 jobs in the U.K., according to a person familiar with the situation.
* TV3 HAS made 12 people compulsorily redundant, cut salaries and reduced its domestically produced programming in a move to trim costs.
* Three weeks after Off Haemek closed down, the decision has fallen: the bankrupt poultry slaughterhouse is heading for receivership. All of its workers will be fired with immediate effect, but that isn’t necessarily the end of the road for the cooperative, or its workers.
* A CONFECTIONARY firm has laid off 25 staff as it battles changing buying patterns brought on by the recession.
* Finnish stainless steel maker Outokumpu Oyj (OUT1V.HE) said on Tuesday it would temporarily cut 1,830 staff at its Tornio, Finland site and halt some production due to weak demand, sending its shares lower.
* A British timber firm has announced plans to shut its plant in Co Laois with the loss of 14 jobs.
* Verizon Wireless in Hanover, seeking to hire 250 customer service representatives this year, is holding an open house from 2 to 6 p.m. April 3 and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 25 at its customer call center at 7401 Coca Cola Drive, near the intersection of Routes 100 and 295.
* More than 150 people will begin working to reduce wildfire danger in southwestern Oregon this spring, thanks to roughly $3 million in U.S. Forest Service contracts funded by the federal stimulus package.
Mike: Till tomorrow..……………..
Mike: For an entertaining way to view a variety of blogs, take a look at http://alphainventions.com/
Tags: COBRA, cut jobs, economic, employment, factory closing, firing, hiring, job loss, jobs cut, laid off, layoffs, plant closing, positions eliminated, redundancies, staff cuts, unemployment, workforce reduction