Archive for December, 2008

Wednesday – Motorola Hangs Up on 400 – Interface Rolls 530 (out the door) – MSFT Rumors Still Floating – Toledo Ends 1000 Jobs – Jobless Claims Drop 94,000

                    

Mike: Wednesday should be a relatively light layoff day as companies prepare for the upcoming holiday. Once the new year begins, the layoff news will likely be more active

The important unemployment number is the number of laid-off workers continuing to draw unemployment benefits increasing by 140,000. This indicates that it’s more difficult to find new work once you are released from a job.  The reduced unemployment claims (-94,000) have to be attributed to a holiday shortened work week and the desire of some employers to keep workers on the payroll through the holidays. And for some companies, it’s just bad PR to layoff during the holidays. 

What I don’t understand is why both the continuing claims increasing by 140,000 and the new claims dropping by 94,000 were both unexpected. 

 

 

* WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of laid-off workers continuing to draw unemployment benefits has surged again, as finding new jobs becomes even more difficult amid a deepening recession.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that people continuing to draw unemployment benefits increased by a larger-than-expected 140,000 to 4.5 million for the week ending Dec. 20, the most recent period for which that information is available. That was the most since early December 1982, when the country was emerging from a deep recession, though the labor force has grown by about half since then.

via Continuing jobless claims rise sharply in December: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

 

Jobless claims drop by much more than expected -  

* WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits slumped 94,000 last week, government data on Wednesday showed, but seasonal factors were likely behind this unexpectedly large decline with the labor market remaining very soft.

 

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 492,000 in the week ended Dec 27 from an unrevised 586,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said. It was the lowest reading for initial claims since the week ended November 1, 2008 and the steepest decline since 1992.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 565,000 new claims as the country’s year-long recession continued to chill employment, and a separate reading on so-called continued claims hit a 26-year high.

A Labor Department official said the timing of the year-end holidays and volatility in seasonal factors was likely to blame for the large decline in initial weekly claims and warned this situation could persist for several more weeks.

via Jobless claims drop by much more than expected: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

 

Microsoft News/Rumors -

 

* SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Speculation has surfaced that Microsoft Corp. might have to move beyond its current hiring slowdown and even cut jobs, as Wall Street analysts pare their outlook for the company amid the economic gloom.

Rumors of layoffs at Microsoft emerged last week on a Web site published by an anonymous, self-described employee who writes as “Mini-Microsoft.” A number of comments from posters describing themselves as fellow employees pegged mid-January as a timeframe for as much as 10% of Microsoft’s roughly 95,000 jobs to be cut.

via Speculation about Microsoft cutbacks heats up - MarketWatch .

 

* If the rumored layoffs do go down, will it be the price Microsoft pays for the over-hiring during the past few years that has led to 94,286 employees worldwide? Mini-Microsoft thinks so.

“Let’s say we are having intensive cutbacks and/or RIFs and layoffs. It is absolutely essential that Microsoft steps back and asks, ‘Whoa, how did we get here and who was leading us?’ How did we go on a drunken hiring binge and continue it even though a year ago most of us realized we were dropping into a recession? It’s irresponsible leadership.”

via Microsoft Layoffs: A Fire or Just Blowing Smoke? – CIO – Blogs and Discussion.

 

* Reportedly, Microsoft has already started the internal drill of informing employees that the company is readying major layoffs to its worldwide operations and it’s not a small cut either. As per the various blogs, insiders feel that things are looking grim while a few managers have leaked information about substantial workforce reductions on January 15, 2009.

So effectively, the company seems to be toying with the idea of pruning about 10 per cent of its 90,000 strong workforce to tide over the downturn which, according to net reports, could go up to 15,000 or 17 per cent of the total workforce.

via MS in mess: Is Microsoft headed for layoffs?- Jobs-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times.

 

Microsoft getting ready to lay off 17% of staff *

via Fudzilla.

 

Mass Microsoft Layoffs Confirmed? *

General Economic News -

 

Mike: While a furlough is preferable to a layoff, it still strains household budgets that depend on a steady income. This is a tactic that will be used more often in the new year.  Companies that take the furlough route must believe that their ecnomic fortunes will soon change and that keeping their employees is better than laying them off and possibly losing them.

 

* NEW YORK (AP) — Here’s the vacation no one wants, courtesy of the recession: Forced time off without pay.

Financially struggling universities, factories and even hospitals are requiring employees to take unpaid “furloughs” — temporary layoffs that amount to one-time pay cuts for workers and a cost savings for employers. This year, the number of temporarily laid off workers hit a 17-year high.

“If they do it once, I think it’s easier for them to try to do it again,” said Carrie Swartout, who researches traumatic brain injuries at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Maryland is requiring unpaid time off for 67,000 of its 80,000 employees as it struggles with a budget crisis. The state says the furloughs will save an estimated $34 million during the fiscal year.

State governments, facing lower revenues but stymied by the long process required to cut public sector jobs, are using furloughs as a quick way to trim payrolls. Private-sector businesses — from automakers to small businesses — are shutting down factories and offices as sales drop.

via The Associated Press: Companies force workers to take unpaid vacation.

 

Mike: I shouldn’t be surprised that a politician is willing to stop unemployment payments to 77,000 for a demand that has little to do with the people who are due their payment. I saw this same tactic back in the 90s when the senate Republicans held back their support for extending unemployment because they were concerned that people take advantage of the program. While some certainly do, the vast majority would rather be working than collecting a couple hundred dollars a week.  While an audit request is the governor’s right, it shouldn’t be used to threaten unemployment benefits.

 

* AIKEN, S.C. – Time is running out for the 77,000 people who collect unemployment benefits in South Carolina.

On Thursday the state must stop printing checks unless Governor Mark Sanford requests a $146-million federal loan to bail out the state’s unemployment agency.

Governor Mark Sanford says he will not request that $146- million federal loan until he has it in writing that the Employment Security Commission will agree to an audit by the state’s watchdog agency.

via South Carolina could be running out of unemployment money | Breaking News, Weather, Sports and Entertainment for Georgia and South Carolina | Local News .

 

Mike: Some yearly layoff tracking of high tech jobs in Oregon:

 

* Tallying tech layoffs at year’s end

Categories: Job cuts

Through November, Oregon’s high-tech employment was down 2,400 jobs from a year earlier. That decline, 4.1 percent, is the sector’s steepest fall since February 2004.

via Tallying tech layoffs at year’s end – Silicon Forest – The Oregonian – OregonLive.com.

 

* Computer maker Dell Inc. said Wednesday that Michael Cannon, president of global operations, and Mark Jarvis, chief marketing officer, will leave the company as part of a global restructuring.

 

- Municipal News -

 

* Major layoffs are coming to the city of Toledo. Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner’s office sent the letters out today. According to the president of local-seven, city employees with local-seven and AFSCME Local 2058, which represent more than 1,000 union workers, received notice today from the mayor’s office that they’ll be laid off beginning Friday, February 13th.

via City layoffs - 12/30/08 – Toledo News – 13abc.com.

 

* The Finkbeiner administration sent out more than 1,000 layoff notices yesterday to city employees for a citywide shutdown that could last for up to a week of all nonsafety service employees.

“The number of days has yet to be determined, but the first workday [of the layoff] would be Tuesday, Feb. 17, since that Monday is a holiday,” said Robert Reinbolt, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner’s chief of staff. “It will certainly be through that week. Whether it extends into the next week is yet to be determined.”

via toledoblade.com — 1,000 city employees get notice of layoffs.

 

* WOONSOCKET — With officials raising the possibility of laying off as many as a third of the community’s police officers and firefighters, the City Council and representatives of Mayor Susan D. Menard met in closed session for about three hours Monday night to ponder a response to the expected loss of $3.2 million in non-school state aid.

via In Woonsocket, layoffs loom | projo.com | The Providence Journal Woonsocket | .

 

BRIDGEPORT — Another 51 city employees are being laid off as officials continue cutting costs to plug a $20 million deficit and avoid a possible state takeover of city finances.

via Bridgeport lays off 51 workers – The Connecticut Post Online.

 

* BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. – Commissioners in Beaver County have approved the 2009 budget, but it requires hardships in the form of layoffs to cover a deficit of more than $1 million.

Department heads and row offices were delivered a mandate to cut budgets by 10 percent with layoffs expected.

via 2009 Beaver Co. Budget Considers Layoffs – News- msnbc.com.

 

 

 

dilbert12-31

dilbert12-31

 

 
- US and some Canada News -

 

Motorola (MOT) will fire another 400 employees to cut costs, the struggling cellphone maker said today in a SEC filing. That’ll be another $25 million in Q4 severance charges.

That’s in addition to the roughly 1,500 employees Motorola decided to fire in October. So since the beginning of last year, Motorola has announced some 12,000 job cuts.

via Motorola Firing 400 More Workers (MOT).

 

* Schaumburg-based Motorola Inc. said late Tuesday that it approved cost reductions that would include 400 layoffs, according to a federal filing.

Motorola said the action was approved Dec. 23 to cut the 400 workers, which would result in a pretax charge, or write-off, of about $25 million during its fourth quarter, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

via Daily Herald | Motorola outlines layoffs in SEC document.

 

Distributor Baker & Taylor has laid off 60 of 3000 staffers in a restructuring aimed to emphasize its library and education outreach and to reduce resources directed to home entertainment retailers.

via Baker & Taylor Layoffs Target Retail, Not Libraries – 12/30/2008 – Library Journal.

 

* Dec 30 (Reuters) – Modular carpet manufacturer Interface Inc (IFSIA.O) said it will cut 14 percent of its global workforce, or 530 jobs, and cease manufacturing operations at its facility in Belleville, Canada, to reduce costs amid softening demand.

via UPDATE 1-Interface to cut 530 jobs; sees Q4 charges | Industries | Financial Services & Real Estate | Reuters .

 

* Actavis Totowa announced today that it has agreed to temporarily close its Falls River, New Jersey manufacturing facility, as well as another in Riverview and a packaging plant in Taft as part of a Consent Decree it has reached with federal regulators.  The Falls River Actavis plant made several generic drugs, including Digitek, that were subject to recalls this year.

via Actavis Agrees to Close Digitek Plant.

 

* The only good news Tuesday for about 257 Sealed Air Cryovac employees is that they might have a job for another ten months.

Sealed Air Corp. sent letters to Cedar Rapids employees indicating that the company will be closing the food packaging plant at 1125 Wilson Ave. SW in six to 10 months.

via Sealed Air to close C.R. plant in 2009 | GazetteOnline.com – Cedar Rapids, Iowa City.

 

* Several NewsChannel 9 news department staffers have opted for retirement or have been given layoff notices.

They include some some producers and assignment editors, including several with long tenures at the local TV station.

via 12/30/2008 – NewsChannel 9 Has Layoffs, Retirements In News Department – Happenings – Chattanoogan.com.

 

* GREENSBORO — Roadway Express and Yellow Transportation in Kernersville expect 200 to 500 employees to be affected by layoffs and the closing of a trucking terminal in March, a company official said Tuesday.

via Trucking layoffs expected : News-Record.com : Greensboro, North Carolina.

 

AOM Healthcare Solutions of Deerfield Beach, a licensed pharmacy and diabetes products supplier, filed notice Tuesday with Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation that it planned to lay off 353 employees effective Jan. 16.

via AOM Healthcare Solutions: Sale forces 353 layoffs — South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com.

 

* SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency announced Monday that it will close its North Shore office, issue mandatory unpaid furlough days, and might cut staff in the early part of 2009 to help close a more than $500,000 budget deficit.

via TRPA eyes layoffs to close budget gap | TahoeDailyTribune.com.

 

* WHEELING – Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack has undergone a position consolidation.

The end result is 30 less management, supervisory, director and front line staff.

via - Layoffs at Wheeling Island, Hotel, Casino and Racetrack

 

* A local automotive supplier is laying off more than a hundred workers. Magna Exteriors and Interiors will slash jobs after the first of the year. Three years ago the company announced a collaboration with Chrysler, operating its paint shop at Toledo’s south assembly plant. Now Magna Exteriors and Interiors is cutting its workforce.

via Local automotive supplier layoffs - 12/30/08 – Toledo News – 13abc.com.

 

MADISON, Wis. – A Wisconsin company that designs and builds health care facilities has informed the state it will lay off more than 100 workers.

via Erdman Company to lay off more than 100 — chicagotribune.com.

 

* In an internal restructure of some departments within our TV station, CBS 2 has laid off six people this week. The decision is directly related to these challenging economic times.

via CBS 2 announces staff layoffs | KBCI CBS 2 – News, Weather and Sports – Boise, ID Boise, Idaho | News .

 

* (Source: The Roanoke Times)By Duncan Adams, The Roanoke Times, Va.

Dec. 30–Andrew Kelderhouse, president of Fralin & Waldron, said that he recalls no other double-digit layoff during his 31 years with the construction and real estate development company.

In late October and early November, the Roanoke County-based company laid off 11 employees.

via Builder Says 11 Layoffs Were Necessary: Fralin & Waldron of Roanoke County Idled Some of Its Construction Workers Earlier in the Fall. .

 

* The group that owns the Grand Junction Free Press and newspapers in Glenwood Springs and Aspen is cutting several positions at those papers and has shut down more of its weekly publications.

The Grand Junction Free Press has laid off two of its five reporters, in addition to at least two more staffers in recent weeks.

via Owner cutting staff at several newspapers, including Free Press.

 

* HARRISONBURG, Va. – Tyson Foods will lay off 45 workers at its Harrisonburg plant on Friday.

The company says the layoffs will reduce the number of employees at the plant to 375.

via Tyson to lay off 45 at Virginia plant – dailypress.com.

 

* The sale of Troyer Farms to Bickel’s Snack Foods Inc. was completed on Monday, and the new owners did not hire 32 workers — mainly part-time employees.

via GoErie.com: Jobs cut in Troyer sale.

 

Allina Hospitals & Clinics is closing its Center for Outpatient Surgery at Abbott Northwestern’s Sartell Outpatient Center.

The Minneapolis-based health provider said Monday the surgery center outside St. Cloud will close on Jan. 23. The closing means 22 employees, including 10 nurses, are losing their jobs.

via Allina closing Sartell surgery center, 22 jobs cut – Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal: .

 

Thirty more ABX Air workers have been given permanent layoff notices, the company said Tuesday, as operations at the DHL Air Park continue to spiral down.

via 30 more laid off at ABX.

 

* FAIRBORN, Ohio — A local company in Fairborn said it has temporarily laid off 20 employees.

About two weeks ago, Cemex had a little more than 100 employees working for the company. However, on Dec. 18, 20 employees were laid off.

via 20 Cemex Employees Laid Off – News Story – WHIO Dayton.

 

* North Sky Communications, a telecommunications contractor, has permanently laid off 57 employees in Woodinville, according to a notice filed with the state Employment Security Department.

via Business & Technology | Telecom contractor lays off 57 | Seattle Times Newspaper.

 

* The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has laid off 17 employees, three of whom worked in the local area.

via Diocese Of Wheeling-Charleston Lays Off 17 Employees - News Story – WTOV Steubenville.

 

* MIDLAND, Pa. (AP) — A Pittsburgh-area stainless steel manufacturer has laid off more than 200 people since October.

President of the USW Local 1212 at Midland Steve Clutter says only about 10 of the 230 people who had worked at the plant still have jobs.

via Pittsburgh-area stainless steel plant lays off 200 - NewsFlash – PennLive.com.

 

* Thurston County has eliminated more than 80 full-time-equivalent jobs to cut costs, and today is the last day of work for 28 employees.

One other employee, who works in the treasurer’s office, will stay on until March 31. The remaining reductions stem from jobs being left unfilled.

via Today is final day of work for 28 county employees – South Sound – The Olympian – Olympia, Washington.

 

VANDALIA, Ohio — Employees at two local companies found out on Tuesday that they have lost their jobs.

The Mazer Corp. in Vandalia closed its doors on Tuesday and notified 200 employees by letters and e-mail that they were out of a job.

Company officials said it simply ran out of money and was forced to close the facility.

In Butler Township, the EFTEC company notified 45 employees that it was closing. Company officials said it was consolidating operations with a facility in Michigan.

via 2 Local Companies Announce Job Losses - News Story – WHIO Dayton.

 

* CALHOUN, GA. – It’s a familiar story in Georgia and across the South. Another textile mill is shutting down its operations.

 

- Mohawk Industries is closing its spun yarn operations in Calhoun, resulting in the loss of 160 jobs. Workers were informed Tuesday.

via - Mohawk to shutter Calhoun spun yarn plant-

 

* A Barnwell County textile plant is closing after more than 50 years of operation – a move that will affect 125 workers.

- Milliken & Co. has announced it will start cutting operations in January and closing its doors for good by mid-2009.

via Biz bits 123108 – The Augusta Chronicle.

 

* It wasn’t the New Years greeting that nearly 90 employees at a Belleville plant were wishing for this afternoon.  Workers at Interface Flooring on Lahr Drive in the Northeast Industrial Park were informed, late this afternoon, before leaving for their New Year’s break that the facility will be closing at the end of February leaving all of them without a job.

via Mix 97 | News Team » Blog Archive » Belleville Plant Closing in New Year.

 

* CEDAR RAPIDS – The Sealed Air Cryovac Plant in Cedar Rapids is closing. About a month ago, Cryovac warned employees the plant might shut down.

Now, more than 250 workers know they will lose their jobs sometime within the next six to ten months.

via Cryovac Closing Cedar Rapids Plant | KCRG-TV9 Cedar Rapids, Iowa | Local News .

 

Mike: A little humor from “This Hour Has 22 Minutes”


 

- International News -

 

* Australia – UNEMPLOYMENT is tipped to near one million with 400,000 losing their livelihoods through 2009, despite expected dramatic interest rate cuts.

In a gloomy new year outlook, economists are predicting unemployment could rise through 2009 from its current 4.4 per cent level towards 8 per cent, costing a further 400,000 people their jobs and pushing the number of unemployed to more than 900,000 – the worst level in a decade.

via Jobless headed for one million in 2009 | PerthNow.

 

* BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s unemployment rate rose to 10.8 percent in November as the world financial crisis slowed economic growth.

The national statistics office says joblessness increased from 10.1 percent in October, and from 9.4 percent in the same period of 2007.

via The Associated Press: Unemployment climbs to 10.8 percent in Colombia.

 

THE country is facing the bleakest three months since the mid-1980s, as opposition politicians warned it could be worse if the Government does not take action to halt the downward spiral.

The country’s main body for personnel managers, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), predicted yesterday that redundancies will soar to about 2,270 a week in the period between New Year and Easter, sending unemployment above the 10pc mark.

via Jobless rate ‘will rise to 10pc in next three months’ – Irish – Independent.ie.

 

* PARIS, Dec 30 (Reuters) – French unemployment jumped sharply in November as companies laid off large numbers of short-term and fixed contract workers in response to the growing economic slowdown, data on Tuesday showed.

Figures from the Economy Ministry showed headline unemployment rose by 64,000 to 2,068,500 in November, the largest rise since at least 1993.

via Business Feed Article | Business | guardian.co.uk .

 

* Security will be foremost on voters’ minds when elections in Israel take place in February, following the military assault on the Gaza Strip, but the importance of the economy should not be ignored. After a mostly crisis-free 2008, new forecasts from the Bank of Israel on Wednesday showed that Israel’s economy is set to run out of steam in 2009, with expected annual growth of 1.5%, down from a preliminary 4.1% in 2008.

via Grim Outlook For Israel’s Economy - Forbes.com.

 

Mike: Happy New Year Australia and a Happy New Year to all! -

 

 

- Hiring News

 

* Hiring for an early census office that will eventually need about 1,000 workers in Cedar Rapids will begin in earnest next month.

The office based at 221 Second Ave. SE, Suite 240, will “lay the ground work” across Eastern Iowa for local census offices that will do most of the counting for the 2010 census, according to Jerry Young, a partnership coordinator for the Census Bureau.

via Census to hire 1,000 temporary workers in Cedar Rapids | GazetteOnline.com – Cedar Rapids, Iowa City.

 

 

Mike: Today’s layoff news should be quieting for the New Year holiday, but if there are any dramatic announcements, I’ll post them for you. All the best for you and yours this upcoming New Year.………..

 

Lalo Alcaraz - Dec. 28

Lalo Alcaraz - Dec. 28

 

 

top

Tuesday – AMD to Add 1500 More to Layoff Rolls? – NBC to Send Layoff Signal to 500? MSFT Rumors Still Flying – MPC Shuts Down on 150

Mike: Microsoft rumors are still flying and they are listed below. With high tech companies like AMD chopping costs with possible large scale layoffs, it won’t be a big surprise to see other high techs do the same in the new year.

Layoff announcements are slow this holiday week, but there are e a growing number of municipalities that are cutting back services along with their payrolls. I’ll highlight those cuts and add more to the list as they are announced

 

 

Mike: I’m amazed that they find an  “unexpected” drop in consumer confidence number surprising, as shown in the below story.  Did these experts think that consumers would be more cheerful with increasing job losses, stagnant (until it drops again) stock market, record falling home prices and tight credit conditions to name a few? I know that this number usually is a reflection of gas prices, but there are other reason for consumers, you and I, to not feel confident. I know of people that have perfect credit and the credit card companies are reducing their limits form $10,000 to $500. In fact, I have a credit card that went from a $5000 limit to $300. Those type of issues don’t give people a confident financial glow:

 

* NEW YORK – Consumer confidence hit an all-time low in December, dropping unexpectedly in the face of layoffs and deteriorating markets for housing, stocks and other investments.

The Conference Board‘s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 38 in December from a revised 44.7 in November. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the index to rise incrementally to 45.

via December consumer confidence drops to all-time low – Yahoo! News.

more about “MoneyWatch Video – CBSNews.com“, posted with vodpod

 

 

NPR.org, December 30, 2008 · Home prices plummeted a record 18 percent over the yearlong period ending in October as slowing sales and foreclosures pushed the U.S. housing market further into recession, a report released Tuesday shows.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed that home prices dropped at a record rate during the 12-month period, with all 20 metropolitan areas measured showing price declines — and 14 showing record drops.

Phoenix and Las Vegas continued to be the weakest markets, with each reporting annual declines of about 32 percent. San Francisco saw a 31 percent drop, and Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego were close behind, with declines in the range of 29 percent to 26.7 percent.

via Home Prices Take Record Plunge : NPR.

 

Microsoft News/Rumors

 

According to Fudzilla, web chitter chatter to this affect is now “no longer a rumour but a fact” and it would see Microsoft’s 90,000 global workforce trimmed by approximately 15,000 jobs come 15 January. As to which countries or departments will be hit worst that remains up in the air but it is said EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and MSN could be hit hardest by the redundancies.

* Calling for a 10% reduction on the company’s payrolls, Reback said in his report for the institutional investors of Microsoft, this would result in an approximately 10% gain in its earnings per share. The software giant had close to 91,000 employees on its payrolls at the end of July-September quarter. Earlier in October, Microsoft had put in place a hiring freeze on some of its divisions, such as entertainment and devices businesses that make products like X-Box and Zune.

via Microsoft asked to lay off over 9,000 employees.

 

* With economic conditions looking dark even in the mid-term, however, the company may be gearing up (perhaps even inadvertently) for layoofs after all. Commentary on the blog of long-standing anonymous, internal critic Mini-Microsoft reveals a pattern of internal preparation for workforce reductions which, whatever the company ultimately decides to call them, amount to significant layoffs.

via The CIO Weblog: Microsoft layoffs may be imminent.

 

* But according to solution providers, Microsoft has been quietly reducing channel head count and cutting channel marketing budgets, although this hasn’t yet had any major effect on their business.

I’ve seen them make a number of cuts — my marketing budget from Microsoft has declined 80 percent this year,” said one source, who requested anonymity.

via Analyst Says Microsoft Should Lay Off 10 Percent - The Channel Wire – IT Channel News And Views by CRN and VARBusiness.

 

General Economic News -

 

People Pulling Up to Pawnshops Today Are Driving Cadillacs and BMWs

Well-to-Do Turn to Last-Resort Lenders; Putting Up Diamonds, Dumpsters as Collateral

 

Typically, pawnshop customers have a household income of about $29,000, according to Dave Adelman, president of the 2,400-member National Pawnbrokers Association. But operators around the country say they are seeing a surge in new activity fueled in part by a different clientele: middle- and upper-middle-class customers facing ravaged stock portfolios, tightened bank credit and unexpected layoffs. In areas dogged by high unemployment and foreclosure rates, the pawn business is especially robust.

- Rick LaChappelle, owner of four pawnshops in Maine, calculates he has lent about 33% more money this year than last. “The banking industry is not giving out any money right now,” he said. “So people are relying on second-tier lending institutions.”

 

via People Pulling Up to Pawnshops Today Are Driving Cadillacs and BMWs – WSJ.com.

 

- Municipal News

 

* ELYRIA — Some Elyria firefighters will likely be laid off as acting Fire Chief Glenn Saddler attempts to cut 6 percent from the department’s budget for next year, Saddler said Monday.

Saddler said that while he has a number in mind for how many firefighters would likely lose their jobs, he did not want to make it public until all other money-saving options have been examined.

via - Elyria Fire Department layoffs likely

 

* Dwindling financial support from the state likely will lead to the closure of county medical clinics in Tulare and Lindsay and the laying off of 225 county employees, Tulare County officials said Monday.

Preliminary layoff notices will go out today to workers in the Health and Human Services Agency, officials said.

via Tulare County may close health clinics | visaliatimesdelta.com | Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register.

 

* The state auditor is expected to report today that the Cuyahoga County recorder’s office has too many workers and needs to cut positions.

County Administrator James McCafferty, who reviewed a draft of the report, on Monday said Auditor Mary Taylor recommends eliminating 17 positions from an office that employs about 100 people.

via Audit to recommend job cuts at Cuyahoga County recorder’s office - Cleveland.com.

 

* Kindergarten classes could grow to nearly 40 children. Some 55 million meals for poor students might not be served. Art classes will likely be history. And hundreds of teachers could lose their jobs.

That’s the bleak outlook for the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2009 as officials face $400 million in cuts next month and further reductions in state funding. The $400 million comes on top of a series of other cuts, taking the total to nearly $1billion this school year.

via Layoffs loom for LAUSD - ContraCostaTimes.com.

 

- US and some Canada News

 

* Sunnyvale (CA) –AMD announced that it laid off more people than previously anticipated in an effort to get closer to a breakeven point. The company also expects another impairment charge related to the $5.4 billion acquisition. There is no number yet, but the charge will be “material”. AMD took two impairment charges earlier this year, amounting to about $2.5 billion.

In an SEC filing, the company said that it cut 600 people from its staff during the current quarter, about 100 more than previously announced. The additional layoffs could be a reaction to the deteriorating economic environment, that has made it virtually impossible for the company to reach is breakeven point, which is believed to be somewhere in the $1.5 billion revenue (per quarter) neighborhood. The layoffs will cost the company about $70 million.

via TG Daily - AMD lays off more people, expects additional ATI charge.

 

* The Sunnyvale, California-based chip maker, Advanced Micro Devices, appears to be ending 2008 with a fresh new round of bad news, as the company is expected to lay off more of its employees, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission………….

In the upcoming year, the company is expected to announce even more layoffs, as a result of the spin-off of its manufacturing unit, as well as other business streamlining efforts, according to industry sources. Approximately 1400 to 1500 additional layoffs are expected to be announced in 2009, consequently enabling the company to deal with a total combined headcount of about 14000 by the end of next year.

via AMD to Lay Off More People in Q4 2008 – Cites $70 million in restructuring cots – Softpedia.

 

* BURBANK — City and county officials expressed concern about an unstable job market after online rumors circulated Thursday that NBC Universal will eliminate 500 jobs nationwide.

In October, NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker called for a 3% cut of the company’s annual $16.7-billion budget. He asked for specific reductions in travel and entertainment expenses, promotions, staffing fees and other areas.

via Burbank Leader > Business.

 

* Erie Shipbuilding Co. is laying off employees.

No one from the company, 220 E. Bayfront Parkway, returned phone calls Monday to the Erie Times-News.

Justin Fleming, a spokesman for the state Department of Labor and Industry, said the department had been in contact with the company and confirmed the layoffs.

Fleming did not know how many people were being let go, nor whether the moves were temporary or permanent.

- WSEE-TV’s “Newswatch’’ reported that up to 30 people are being laid off.

via GoErie.com: Layoffs set at Erie Shipbuilding.

 

* The economic downturn in the United States has hit the biggest employer in Meductic: cymbal-maker Sabian Ltd.

John Teague, vice-president of operations at Sabian, confirmed last Tuesday the company has had to let 16 workers go in the past several weeks.

via bugleobserver.com – Layoffs at Sabian – Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada.

 

* NAMPA — Following layoffs and a bankruptcy filing, we have just received confirmation that MPC Computers is shutting its doors.

MPC says, effective immediately, nearly 150  workers at its Nampa facility will be let go.  The remaining 50 local employees will be given varying departure dates over the next few months.

via MPC Computers shutting its doors at Nampa plant | KTVB.COM | Idaho Business | Boise, Idaho News, Weather, Sports & Traffic.

 

* The decision to close a bakery that shipped specialty bread products to Florida from a Flowers Foods-affiliated bakery in Fort Smith will eliminate 82 positions.

The Fort Smith Baking Company, a subsidiary of the publicly traded Flowers Foods Inc., said Monday that 48 employees and 34 subcontracted workers will be out of a job on Friday.

via NWAnews.com :: Northwest Arkansas’ News Source.

 

* The company has no relation to the Wall Street titan Lehman Brothers investment bank, which also toppled into bankruptcy this year.

New Haven’s Lehman Brothers closed on Dec. 9, forcing about 20 people out of their jobs. For 98 years, it produced high-end engravings, fine stationery and a lot of wedding invitations.

via New Haven Independent: New Haven’s Lehman Bros., Too, Goes Belly Up.

 

* MCKEESPORT (KDKA) ― Precoat Metals announced Monday that it would be closing its McKeesport plant.

“There’s a lot of people over there who are very upset and don’t know what to do now,” said Walter Plesniak, who has worked at the plant for 38 years.

Union officials estimate about a third of the people who work at the plant have been there for more than 20 years.

via Precoat Metals To Close McKeesport Plant In March – kdka.com .

more about “kdka.com – Video Library“, posted with vodpod

 

 

* MARSHFIELD, Wis. – Prefabricated and modular homes are a segment of the housing market also hit hard by the current recession.

- Wick Building Systems in Marshfield has laid off about 70 employees and has taken the unprecedented step of closing the local plant for two months — in January and February.

via Modular home industry hit by recession — chicagotribune.com.

 

* Vignette Corp. said last week it had cut a portion of its staff, though the content management software company declined to give a specific figure.

via Vignette cuts unspecified number of workers - Austin Business Journal: .

 

* Dec 29 (Reuters) – Cogdell Spencer Inc CSA.N said it will eliminate 115 jobs and all executive incentive compensation for fiscal year 2009, and the specialty real estate investment trust also slashed its quarterly dividend as it tries to reduce costs.

The company said its Erdman subsidiary, which provides advanced planning, engineering and construction, and development services, will cut about 115 jobs, effective January 6 to 9.

via UPDATE 1-Cogdell Spencer to cut jobs; reduces dividend | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .

 

* BRADENTON — Intertape Polymer Group Inc., a manufacturer of plastic and paper packaging goods, is eliminating 152 jobs as part of several cost-saving measures it is implementing due to economic conditions.

via Intertape to cut jobs, reduce costs - Business – Bradenton.com.

 

Fewer than 50 employees at United Fixtures Interlake plant on Howard Street in Niles will indeed be laid off today, an employee in human resources in the Niles office confirmed late Monday.

The South Bend administration office and distribution center at 4300 Quality Drive, the employee said, are not affected.

United Fixtures, headquartered in Naperville, Ill., manufactures rack storage systems and fixtures.

via United Fixtures cuts jobs in Niles | WSBT South Bend – Your Local News Leader | Local News .

 

* FAIRBORN — An employee population of 417 people faces a “mass reduction in force” beginning Feb. 13 at the Teleperformance USA call center, 57 Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, according to a Dec. 11 letter from company Human Resources Vice President Jackie Stiteler to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

via Fairborn-based employer might cut 417 jobs .

 

United Launch Alliance expects to lay off at least 16 workers at Vandenberg Air Force Base in February, but company officials said cost-saving measures will mean issuing fewer pink slips than first estimated.

via 16 launch jobs may be lost at VAFB.

 

Roadway Express Cutting 150-200 Jobs in Meridian- 

via Roadway Express Cutting Jobs in Meridian .

 

Gardner Denver Inc., which has a manufacturing facility in Peachtree City among its worldwide holdings, has announced it will cut 9 percent of its global salaried workforce and enact a hiring freeze in light of “deteriorating global economic decisions” and as it integrates its acquisition of CompAir Holdings Limited.

via Gardner Denver announces global job cuts | The Citizen Online.

 

* COLUMBIA – South Carolina residents will continue to receive unemployment benefits through March 2009 thanks to an agreement reached between the South Carolina Employment Commission and the Governor’s Office, according to SCESC Communications Specialist Rodney Welch.

via The Item – South Carolina.

 

* iQor Inc. is laying off 73 employees at its Greensboro call center.

The Columbus, Ohio-based company filed a WARN (Workers Adjustment Notification Act) notice with mayor’s office late Monday, stating that the layoff will take place on or around Feb. 28 at its Northline Avenue call center near Friendly Center.

via GSO call center laying off 73 – The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area: .

 

BRIDGEPORT — Another 51 city employees are being laid off as officials continue cutting costs to plug a $20 million deficit and avoid a possible state takeover of city finances.

So far, Mayor Bill Finch has laid off 73 workers and eliminated or refused to fill 98 positions. With the latest round of layoffs, 222 jobs will have either been eliminated or left unfilled.

via Bridgeport lays off 51 workers – The Connecticut Post Online.

 

Allegheny Technologies Inc. on Tuesday provided details of recent layoffs, totalling 209 workers, at its Midland plant in Beaver County.

The company issued a WARN Act notification with the state Department of Labor & Industry. Of those laid off, 205 were union employees and four were salaried employees.

via Allegheny Technologies details Midland layoffs – Pittsburgh Business Times: .

 

* PONTIAC, Ill. – About 260 employees of a central Illinois storage-rack factory are at risk of losing their jobs, in what would be the latest blow to the community of Pontiac.

That’s according to executives at Pontiac’s Interlake Material Handling plant.

via Layoffs threatened at central Ill. plant — chicagotribune.com

 

* Vertis Communications lays off 91 — Print and DM shop to close due to merger with American Color Graphics. Layoffs there bring the BNET ad agency layoff counter to 6,231.

via Advertising Roundup: 91 Layoffs at Vertis; Obama Stomache-Ache Ad; Levy Most Likeable; And More … | BNET Advertising Blog | BNET.

 

Wells Fargo & Co. is cutting 53 jobs at its auto-loan center in Tempe, Ariz., as result of the bank’s pending merger with Wachovia Corp.

via Wells cuts 53 jobs in Arizona - Charlotte Business Journal: .

 

* Most California companies must give their employees 60 days’ notice before laying off more than 50 workers. Since Jan. 1, 2007, these companies have laid off roughly 136,000 California workers.

via Interactive database: See who is laying off workers - Sacramento News – Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee.

 

*    Interlake’s Pontiac plant “may be” permanently closed about the end of February, according to a required notice given to employees this week, although efforts today by The Daily Leader to reach corporate spokesmen on the future of the plant were unsuccessful.

via Pontiac Interlake plant may close in 2009 - Pontiac, IL – Pontiac Daily Leader.

 

Mohawk Industries has announced plans to discontinue operations at the company’s Calhoun, Georgia spun yarn manufacturing facilities.  Company officials informed employees of the decision during meetings Tuesday.  A gradual phasing out of operations will begin later this week and will be completed by February 27, 2009.

At the time of the announcement, 160 individuals worked at the Calhoun spun yarn facility.  During the coming weeks, Mohawk’s Human Resources Department will assist the employees, offering available job opportunities at other company facilities as well as working with state officials to facilitate job fairs with local employers and employment agencies.

via More Layoffs at Mohawk Industries | industries, mohawk, operations – Local News – WTVC Newschannel9.com.

 

Interface Inc. says it will lay off 14 percent of its worldwide work force, or about 530 employees, to cope with weakening demand for its carpet products.

The commercial carpet producer says the reductions will cut manufacturing, sales and administration jobs.

via Interface plans to lay off 530 employees worldwide – BusinessWeek.

 

* SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 30 (Reuters) – Mobile phone maker Motorola Inc (MOT.N) said on Tuesday it will lay off 400 more employees in the fourth-quarter than it originally planned, resulting in additional charges.

In October, Motorola announced a cost-reduction plan that included cutting a total of 3,000 jobs, with 1,500 coming in the fourth quarter. The change means 1,900 will be in the fourth quarter although the overall total will not change.

via Motorola speeds up layoffs, adds to 4th-qtr charge | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .

 

 

Adams - Dec. 30

Adams - Dec. 30

 

 

- International News -

 

* Downsizing deals – Massive layoffs scheduled in Russian metal industries.

Mr Andrei Vetluzhskikh, chairman of the Sverdlovsk regional trades union federation said that “About 100,000 jobs, mainly at metallurgical plants are forecast to be cut next year.”

via SteelGuru – News.

 

* Delphi suspends plant in China

U.S. car parts maker Delphi Corp. has suspended work at a factory in Suzhou because of shrinking demand amid the global economic slump, a media report and a staff member said. The factory west of Shanghai in the city of Suzhou makes compressors for General Motors Corp. China’s own once-booming auto market is seeing sales fall from double-digit growth rates as demand cools.

via Daily Briefing | ajc.com.

 

More than 200 miners from Sase mine in Srebrenica will be left jobless next month due to a dramatic drop in production of lead and zinc in the mine in effect of the global economic crisis, the company confirmed on Friday.

via Over 200 miners to be laid off in Srebrenica :: emportal :: SEE news.

 

Chanel, one of the most high end French fashion names, is to lay off 200 Paris based staff. When global brands like Chanel are firing people right and left whereas at the same time Five and Dime stores are doing the same, it states that clear across the board people are feeling the effects of the depression.

via Chanel laying off hundreds of people : Tribble Ad Agency : The Advertising Agency of Record.

 

Lenovo plans to announce a business reorganization in mid-January next year, which includes adjustments to its business structure and layoffs, according to a Chinese-language sina.com report citing sources in Lenovo.

via Lenovo to reorganize business in mid-January, says report.

 

* SANTIAGO, Chile — Chilean officials say unemployment rose to 7.5 percent at the end of November as the global financial crisis slowed loans to businesses.

 

- Hiring News -

 

* APAC Customer Services Inc. is adding 120 new jobs right after the first of the year, Utica Mayor David Roefaro said Monday night.

via APAC to add 120 jobs – Utica, NY – The Observer-Dispatch.

 

* Oakbrook Terrace, IL – infoZine – America’s Best Companies (ABC) has announced they plan to hire 2,000 people over this holiday season, despite the country’s financial crisis.

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Mike: The layoff news was busier than I expected this day. I’ll add any late breaking news, but hopefully it’s quiet. Till tomorrow………………..

 

Ben Sargent - Dec. 24

Ben Sargent - Dec. 24

 

Monday – Big 2 Bailout Day – UK Could Lose 600,000 Jobs in ’09 – MSFT Rumors Still in Play – Odyssey Ends for 170 Jobs (12-29-08)

                                       

Mike: A rather quiet layoff news start to the week. I’ll post layoff news as it is announced, but till then I’ll offer some other employment and economic reads. Check out the Weekend Update for the latest layoff stories from the past few days:

 

Mike: Paul Krugman is one of the best economists in the land and he presents a chilling tale if the Obama stimulus package isn’t adequate:
                                    

more about “Recession: Hitting Bottom Video – CBS…“, posted with vodpod

 

-  Microsoft News/Rumors

 

Mike: The comments are still in the air, but have subsided over the last couple days. Here’s what is making the rounds today:

 

* Despite hiring at a rapid clip for the last few years, even Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) may not be immune to the rounds of layoffs hitting the technology industry recently.

Though unsubstantiated, dozens of comments at Mini-Microsoft, a blog popular with Microsoft employees, point toward the possibility of big job cuts at the company. And now, at least one financial analyst has signed onto the idea. That would be quite the turnaround for a company that’s grown its workforce by roughly a third since 2005.

via Microsoft Layoffs Coming? – Microsoft Blog – InformationWeek.

 

Mike: The Indian press is busy with the Microsoft news. I find it amusing that they mention that Microsoft has been “asked” to remove 10% of its workforce. Asked?


* Software giant Microsoft has been asked to lay off around 9,100 employees (around 10%) to tell the market that profits are more significant than revenue growth in difficult times.

In a report on Microsoft, Brokerage firm Oppenheimer & Co’s analyst Brad Reback stated that such layoff exercise would be a profitable move for the company.

via Microsoft Advised To Cut 9,100 Jobs | Top News.

 

* Bangalore: Adding more to the employee woes, software giant Microsoft has been asked to slash 10 percent of its workforce, which amounts to around 9,100 employees. The firm had close to 91,000 employees on its payrolls at the end of July-September quarter.

via Microsoft asked to lay off 9100 employees.

 

* Catching up: Microsoft layoff rumors

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Mini-Microsoft has drawn an ominous red circle on his calendar around Jan. 15. That day, the anonymous, unsanctioned company blogger suspects, could bring news of a substantial round of layoffs at Microsoft. While his post of last week (just after I stepped out for vacation) is clearly labeled as rumor, even the thought of cuts at one of the region’s biggest (and heretofore most stable) employers can only send shivers down the spine of Seattle’s cold and wet economy.

via Microsoft Pri0 | Catching up: Microsoft layoff rumors | Seattle Times Newspaper Blog.

 

- General Employment News

 

  Mike: A massive surge in municipal bankruptcies will result in massive layoffs for non-vital personnel unless the feds start pumping money into the hands of these entities:

* Massive Surge In Municipal Bankruptcies Coming John Moorlach, the accountant who predicted the 1994 Orange County bankruptcy sees Up to 10 Municipal Bankruptcies in Coming Year via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis.  
Mike: Let’s hope that this isn’t just throwing good money down a bottomless pit.


* The U.S. Treasury is expected to transfer $9.3 billion to General Motors and $4 billion to Chrysler, but Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Economy.com, predicts that over the next few years taxpayers will pay a total of $75-$125 billion to keep the Big Three out of bankruptcy. via ABC News: Monday Is Payday for Chrysler, GM.  


Mike: It’s interesting to note that the Big 3 are profitable in other countries and from the following interview, the Big 3 may be trying to kill their US manufacturing and union heavy shops in order to start importing vehicles into the US.  While the following information comes from a UAW member, it does bear some thought:

* The danger of this that I see, as well, is that, you know, in the ’90s, when the auto companies were making billions of dollars, they were taking profits out of North America and investing them overseas in Europe, South America and Asia. So there’s been a huge transfer of assets overseas. Now, those assets would remain protected in bankruptcy. So what, in effect, they’ve done is undermined the manufacturing base in the United States so that they could become a major importer to the United States. You see, they already have fuel-efficient—small fuel-efficient cars that they’re making in Europe and in Asia and in South America. They’re ready for import. And they would like to be like Toyota. Yes, Toyota has plants in the United States, but Toyota imports about 46 percent of all the cars it sells in the United States. That’s what General Motors is setting itself up to do, and they’re going to use this capitalist disaster to help them wipe out the dealerships and close the plants. And Congress is just going to help them strong-arm the unions into giving up any job security or gains.

 

Mike: Some interesting stats and information concerning various state unemployment benefit packages:

*The federal average weekly benefit is $293 a week, and about 38% of the jobless receive payments, but state by state the numbers vary wildly. Mississippi joins Puerto Rico on the low end of the spectrum. Its weekly maximum is $210, with weekly payments averaging $180.77 going to about a quarter of that state’s jobless. In South Dakota and Texas, just 18% and 20% of the unemployed receive benefits, respectively. That compares with Massachusetts’ average weekly benefit of $383.77 to 57% of its jobless workers, or Hawaii’s $414.17 average weekly payment and 42% recipient rate.

via Jobless Benefits, State by State – BusinessWeek.

 

* (Source: The Dallas Morning News)By Sheryl Jean, The Dallas Morning News

Dec. 29–Texas’ factory output worsened in December, and manufacturers’ six-month outlook remains weak, according to a survey released Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Most of the 109 companies surveyed from Dec. 16 to 23 reported a decline in capital expenditures planned for 2009 as the national economy is expected to remain weak. The company outlook index dropped to its lowest level since the monthly survey began in June 2004.

via Dallas Fed: Texas Factory Output Declines, Outlook Worsens .

 

* Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) — Micron Technology Inc., the U.S. maker of computer-memory chips, will have to raise money soon because the company is running low on cash, according to Wachovia Corp.

The company’s net cash declined by $474 million during the November quarter as memory-chip prices plunged, Wachovia analyst David Wong said today in a report. While prices have improved lately, they’re still so low that most memory makers will post “significant losses for many quarters yet,” he said.

via Bloomberg.com: Worldwide.

 

* In moves that will surprise no one who has followed the barrage of grim economic news, architecture firms across the country are laying off workers at unprecedented levels.

Over the past few months, Perkins Eastman, one of the country’s largest firms, has let go 10 percent of its staff, or about 80 of 800 employees, according to Bradford Perkins, FAIA, firm chairman. “It’s very unfortunate when this happens,” says Perkins, adding that the cuts are the deepest in the firm’s 24-year history.

via Layoffs Sweep Architecture Profession as Economy Worsens | News | Architectural Record.

 

- International News -

 

* LONDON (SHARECAST) – At least 600,000 people could be out of a job in 2009 and others will face pay freezes, according to a report published today.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said that the time between New Year and Easter will be the worst since 1991. It predicts in the first quarter of the year, there could be as many as 300,000 job losses.

via ShareCast – News you can use.

 

* LONDON (AP) — More than 600,000 people in Britain will be laid off in 2009, making next the worst year for job losses in 18 years, a leading personnel group forecast on Monday.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s annual report predicted that, including people who lose their jobs for other reasons such as contracts ending, the country’s economic slowdown will push 1 million more people into unemployment by the end of next year than were out of work in October of this year.

via The Associated Press: 600,000 UK layoffs in ’09, says personnel group.

 

* Dec 29, 2008 (DVB)–More than 5000 workers lost their jobs when clothing factories in Hlaingtharyar industrial zone in Rangoon closed down recently, while others are facing salary cuts.

The closures come not long after the Burmese regime said the world economic crisis would not affect Burma.

via Democratic Voice of Burma.

 

* MANILA, Philippines – Toledo Mining Corp. said it had laid off some 600 workers and contractors while some directors took pay cuts as dampened demand took its toll on nickel operations in the Philippines.

via Business – Toledo Mining lays off 90% of workforce – INQUIRER.net.

 

* The global economic crisis is forcing Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) to make more layoffs in Israel, and it will fire an additional 200 employees in January. The billing and CRM software house is facing a difficult 2009 after several years of growth. The company expects zero growth as telecommunications carriers, its primary customers, cut spending.

via Amdocs to lay off 200 more in Israel.

 

* With the economy in recession — it’s the 12th month of recession, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research — and with no sign of improvement on the horizon, carriers are in survival mode. With load factors deteriorating and freight rates at historic lows, they are seizing on every option they can to staunch the bleeding. They are cutting capacity by eliminating at least one of their Asia-Europe or trans-Pacific loops and combining others in vessel-sharing agreements with erstwhile competitors. New World Alliance partners APL Ltd., MOL and Hyundai Merchant Marine are laying up 40 vessels, and APL has announced 1,000 layoffs worldwide.

via Gulf Shipper Online.

 

- US and some Canada Layoff News -

 

* The Bloomberg administration may be considering a buyout plan for veteran city workers.

A spokesman Saturday said Mayor Michael Bloomberg has not ruled out any options in an effort to try and close the city’s looming budget gap.

via NY1 | 24 Hour Local News | Politics | Bloomberg May Consider Worker Buyout Plan .

 

* Citing the economic downturn and reduced demand for fuel, construction firm Cianbro Corp. of Pittsfield will reduce both its total workforce and employee hours at a new manufacturing facility in Brewer……

Under the plan, about 50 workers will lose jobs at the Brewer facility, which employs about 700. Also, employees hours will be reduced from 50 to 70 hours per week down to a typical 40-hour workweek.

via Economic downturn forces layoffs at Cianbro.

 

* NEW YORK, Dec 29 (Reuters) – DHP Holdings II Corp, parent of fireplace and heater maker Desa Heating, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday and said it would pursue an orderly wind down of its businesses, citing the sagging economy and credit crunch………

After layoffs in December, the company employed 292 people, who will help wind down remaining business operations.

via Desa Heating parent files for bankruptcy | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .

 

* Ashford Hospitality Trust, a real estate investment trust specializing in the hotel and hospitality sector, says the company is maneuvering to maintain its strong liquidity position.

In a statement, the Dallas-based REIT indicated that future cost-cutting measures would include job cuts, salary freezes and benefit reductions.

Ashford (NYSE: AHT) did not elaborate on how many positions would be impacted or when the changes would take place.

via Ashford Hospitality announces layoffs – Dallas Business Journal: .

 

* The AT&T Business Solutions Customer Service unit in Richardson could be laying off up to 78 employees in the new year, according to a letter filed with the Texas Workforce Commission.

In a filing, AT&T Business Solutions, a unit of AT&T that is located at 2270 Lakeside Blvd. in Richardson, says it will not know for sure how many reductions will be made until the Richardson division determines how many employees will enter into voluntary severance agreements, retire or move into other positions.

via AT&T Bus. Solutions faces up to 78 layoffs – Dallas Business Journal:

 

Cambridge Health Alliance will soon announce a plan to make cuts including layoffs and closures. CHA officials had already planned to make significant cuts to absorb an anticipated loss of $95 million in state and federal money next year, due to a transfer of funding to expand health care coverage through the state’s health care reform law.

 

* (Bristol, Indiana) – RV Parts supplier Odyssey Group has shut its doors here and put about 170 out of work. The company broke the news in a notice to the state.

According to old news reports, Odyssey was riding strong sales in 2006 when it broke ground on a 200,000-square-foot warehouse complex in Elkhart. Apparently, it couldn’t survive the recent plummet of the RV market.

via Odyssey Group Closes Down; 170 Jobs Lost – Manufacturing & Technology eJournal.

 

* Walter Industries Inc. plans to close its Kodiak Mine in Shelby County, Ala., due to high operational costs, difficult operating conditions and a challenging pricing environment for Kodiak’s product.

Walter Industries, based in Tampa, expects to recognize a pre-tax charge of about $20 million in this quarter, mostly related to the non-cash impairment of mining facilities and equipment.

About 90 contract miners will be displaced by the closure, but the company will offer most of them positions at other mining operations, a statement from Walter Industries says.

via Walter Industries to close mine – Tampa Bay Business Journal: .

- Hiring News -

 

It’s no easy task to recruit people with proclivities for science into schools – and to keep them long enough to nurture a talent for teaching. But over the next decade, schools will need 200,000 or more new teachers in science and math, according to estimates by such groups as the Business-Higher Education Forum in Washington. Already, many districts face shortages: In at least 10 states, fewer than 6 out of 10 middle-school science teachers were certified when the Council of Chief School Officers compiled a report last year.

via Wanted: More science and math teachers in the US – Yahoo! News.

 

* North Dakota lawmakers and businesses are working on ways to lure more high-tech employees like Meadows.

As of Dec. 1, the state had an estimated 165 applicants for 261 jobs in computer and math fields, Job Service North Dakota figures show.

Gov. John Hoeven is proposing a $40 million needs-based tuition assistance program for North Dakota students.

State Sen. Tony Grindberg, R-Fargo, headed the interim Workforce Committee that will introduce a bill to help pay college tuition for North Dakota students who meet certain academic requirements or enroll in a two-year career or technical program in fields with high job demand. The bill would also give state income tax breaks for qualifying residents.

via Ap |  Grand Forks Herald  | Grand Forks, North Dakota .

 

Mike: We should all be thrilled that we can employ the convict and shelh the librarian: So sad…..

* Self-help books, best-sellers, graphic novels and history — these are among the popular books with inmates at the King County Jail.

But beginning in January, it won’t be a librarian making the deliveries. Instead inmates, working under the supervision of a corrections officer, will be handing out the books.

The county’s Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention will save about $240,000 annually by ending its contract with the King County Library System, which historically has provided librarians and a collection of books for the jail’s inmates.

via County shelves jail librarians.

 

* Erdman, a Madison-based health-care facilities design company, will be hit with a staff cut, effective in early January.

Parent company Cogdell Spencer said Monday about 115 jobs will be eliminated as part of an effort to cut costs by $17 million a year. The impact of the job cut will be felt “companywide” throughout Cogdell Spencer, Erdman chief executive Scott Ransom said.

via WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL.

 

* WILSON, OK ― Another round of layoffs hit Texoma on Monday, and the company had to call in security. Energy company High Sierra laid off more than 20 workers and closed down their operations at Hull’s Oil Field.

via More than 20 laid off at Wilson energy company .

 

Mike: More as the announcements are made, but this is likely to be a rather quiet week. If you have any suggestions on the type of stories you would like to see, pass them along and I’ll see they are made available………..

 

Mike: More on Tuesday………..

 

Jeff Stahler - Dec 28

Jeff Stahler - Dec 28

 

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