Weekend Update – Auto Bailout Wait Continues

Mike: The administration has yet to approve TARP funds for the Big 3 bailout, so the wait continues. Senate Republicans are demanding UAW contract concessions that seem rather hasty and ill-studied. But it’s also in the Republicans mantra to destroy unions. That union destroying obsession began in earnest during the Regan administration and the destruction of the flight controllers union and it continues to this day. And many senate Republicans are from southern states that disapprove of unions and that house many of the non-union foreign auto makers such as Toyota and VW. Although the UAW contracts must be reviewed and reworked, this is not the time to delay a bailout that affects much more than the members of the UAW. The administration can demand a time table to address the UAWs cluttered, unyielding contract, but demanding change at this moment is unfair and unproductive.

The auto bailout is a $15 billion lifeline that may merely delay the inevitable bankruptcy of GM and/or Chrysler, but it is necessary to have a controlled burn and not a flame-out that crashes them and everything around them. I still find it hypocritical to demand contract concessions from the UAW in return for a $15 billion lifeline, but demand absolutely nothing for the $700 billion from mangers and highly paid representatives of  the negligent, corrupt, and in many cases criminal financial institution whose actions have nearly brought the US and world economies to the brink of collapse. It smalls of class warfare where the hourly worker has to bow to the powers-that-be while the millionaires of banking, investment houses and hedge funds skip away with billions of taxpayer funds without the need to even account for the use of those funds. That’s my rant for the day. I have no skin in this game since I find most elected representatives of both parties to be more  concerned about where they are going to get their next big campaign check than the matters of the people and the honesty that demands of them. 

Here’s a video of the talking heads damning the UAW for the failure of the bailout. This is similar to the same talking heads blaming the entire housing crash on poor people getting loans from Fannie and Freddie. 

Here’s a rebuttal from the UAW:

And here is the street reaction:

At least the Canadian government is acting quickly and responsibly with auto industry bailout funding.

TORONTO – The federal and Ontario governments have agreed to provide up to $3.3 billion for the Canadian auto industry, but the bailout comes with the potential for thousands of job cuts.

via The Truro Daily News, Nova Scotia : National News | Deal made on aid for auto industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW YORK – General Motors Corp . said Friday it will temporarily close 20 factories across North America and make sweeping cuts to its vehicle production as it tries to adjust to dramatically weaker automobile demand.

GM said it will cut 250,000 vehicles from its production schedule for the first quarter of 2009, which includes a cut of 60,000 vehicles announced last week. Normal production would be around 750,000 cars and trucks for the quarter, spokesman Tony Sapienza said.

via GM to temporarily close 20 plants to slash output – Yahoo! News.

Mike: Sunday update to auto bailout plans:

WASHINGTON – Don’t expect an announcement Sunday or Monday from the White House on a possible plan to prevent the collapse of the troubled auto industry. That’s the latest word from White House officials .

The Bush administration is considering ways to provide emergency aid to General Motors Corp . and Chrysler LLC . Those two car companies have said they could run out of cash within weeks without government help.

via White House: No immediate deal on auto loans – Yahoo! News.

Mike: Auto bailouts are being discussed in other countries as well:

With car sales tumbling globally, manufacturers want a substantial financial package from the government to help them through the tough economic climate.

They want a state-guaranteed credit facility, more credit for manufacturers and suppliers, easier access to cash for car finance firms and a delay in the rise in vehicle excise duty.

via BBC NEWS | Business | UK carmakers ‘to be given help’.

 

Now onto some employment and financial posts that bring current financial conditions into clarity. These posters are intelligent,  thoughtful and well versed in their fields. I have followed the writings of these experts for the past 18 months and they have been right about the economy and markets many more times than they have been wrong. And if they are wrong, they admit it and explain why they were wrong. They present a thoughtful and informative message that cuts through the ramblings of most main stream media. I’ll link some of their latest employment posts:

Mike: Calculated Risk is an excellent place to read a timely variety of financial news with commenting that is both informative and entertaining:

In the previous post, I excerpted from my post in 2005 arguing that the areas with the most real estate related employment would suffer the most in the then coming housing bust. That post included a graph through most of 2005. Here is an update to that graph using the current data from the BLS (through October for counties, and November for the U.S).

via Calculated Risk: Construction Employment as Percent of Total Employment.

Mike: Naked Capitalism is another excellent site to keep abreast of current financial conditions:

Many Auto Suppliers Already on the Brink

GM and Chrysler have been stretching payables, which means that many auto parts suppliers are in dire cash flow straits. And if auto parts makers fail, it doesn’t hurt just the Detroit car makers, but the foreign transplants as well.

via naked capitalism: Many Auto Suppliers Already on the Brink.

Mike: MISH’S Global Economic Trend Analysis is another excellent location for timely, consise, well-researched economic data and opinion:

With the 4-week moving average steadily rising for months on end, it is looking increasingly likely that the November job loss of 533,000 jobs was not an outlier.

Looking ahead, Obama has promised to create 2.5 million as noted in the CNN Money article Stimulus: The stuff Obama would build. However, 2.5 million jobs will not do much more than break even if we see a number of -500,000 job reports in 2009, as I believe we will.

Furthermore, jobs programs coming from Obama will not begin to show up until sometime in the second quarter at the earliest. By then the economy will already have lost some 1.5-2.0 million jobs, if not more, at the current pace.

via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis: Economic Winter Reflected In Shipping, Capex, Jobs, Treasury Yields.

 

Mike: There are also some layoff announcements:

ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines Inc., the world’s biggest carrier, will offer voluntary severance payouts to a majority of the 75,000 employees at Delta and Northwest’s mainline operations as part of a plan to cut an unspecified number of jobs, executives said Friday.

via Delta Offering Buyouts To Most Employees – Money News Story – WSB Atlanta.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — International Paper Co. said Friday it will eliminate 1,000 to 1,500 salaried jobs by the end of next year as the “next step” in cost-cutting moves.

The company, which has been closing mills and production facilities in the face of weakening demand for paper products, said the job cuts would lead to savings of $150 million to $200 million by the end of 2009.

via International Paper to eliminate up to 1,500 jobs over next year | Portland Press Herald.

The president of Miami University estimates as many as 100 employees may lose their jobs next year as the school moves to close a budget gap.

via Ohio.com – AP .

Chip maker RF Micro Devices will lay off approximately 150 workers in the first quarter of next year at its Greensboro operations, a company official said Friday .

Jerry Neal , executive vice president for strategic development and a co-founder of the company , said RFMD would idle one of its wafer-making facilities at 7628 Thorndike Road .

via RFMD 150 at RF Micro to lose their jobs.

YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) ― Officials in Westchester County’s largest city, Yonkers, said they’ll need to lay off city workers to eliminate a $16 million budget gap.

Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone said Friday that he plans to lay off 76 full-time city workers and about 75 part-time workers to balance the budget. The proposed cuts also include 28 demotions.

via wcbstv.com – Yonkers Mayor Announces Round Of Layoffs .

SOUTH PORTLAND — Fairchild Semiconductor will cut its global work force by 12 percent – or about 1,100 jobs – as the economic crisis and a slowdown in consumer spending eat into the firm’s sales and profit margins, the company announced Friday.

Fairchild, which has its headquarters and one of its manufacturing plants in South Portland, is offering voluntary severance packages to employees and will shut down operations for two weeks over the holidays. The company closed during Thanksgiving week to cut costs.

via Fairchild offers packages to reduce work force | Portland Press Herald.

PLATTSBURGH — Georgia-Pacific will lay off about 70 employees in mid-January.

Plattsburgh Mill General Manager Kirk Stallsmith said employees were told about layoffs in a series of meetings earlier this week.

The layoffs of hourly and salaried employees will take place Jan. 16 and will be indefinite.

via The Press Republican – Georgia-Pacific to lay off about 70 employees.

The layoffs that have ravaged the publishing industry continue to roll, with three prominent b-to-b publishers cutting staff in an effort to reduce costs and survive the recession.

Summit Business Media—a company that had been, until recently, on a buying spree—laid off 21 staffers last week and eliminated six vacant positions, FOLIO: has learned. As part of the cutbacks, a pair of senior executives—Joe Bennett, former Pfingsten president, and Jim Keefe, former senior vice president of the company’s events division—are leaving.

Crain Cuts 50

Tech Target Cuts 12 Percent

via UPDATE: Layoff Roundup: Summit Business Media Cuts 21, Crain Cuts 50, TechTarget Cuts 76 – B2B @ FolioMag.com.

St. Louis-based Furniture Brands International Inc. said Thursday it will cut 1,400 jobs, or 15 percent of its U.S. work force, potentially the largest one-time job cut in its history.

The staff reductions, which will be effective immediately, were blamed on weak retail market.

via Furniture Brands to layoff 1400 jobs | TopNews United States.

More people are without a job in South Dakota after Adams Thermal Systems in Canton eliminated their 4th shift Friday. That left roughly 30 people without jobs. The company tells Action News it does not anticipate any further layoffs. But everyone in Canton is convinced.

via Layoff Concerns In Canton | KSFY.com – Your Source for News, Sports, Weather, and Community Events Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 | Local & Regional News .

Crane Composites will close its Grand Junction plant in Hardeman Co. by March 31. The closing will leave 86 people, some of whom have been at the factory 30 or more years, without jobs. The work is being transferred to Crane’s plant in Florence, Ky., according to a news release from the company.

via Crane Composites closing plant | jacksonsun.com | .

More than 460 workers in Crawfordsville will lose their jobs early next year when a plant making parts for the heavy truck industry closes its doors.

Friction Holdings, formerly known as Raybestos, announced Thursday that it plans to cease all operations in Crawfordsville by Feb. 28. The decision brings the number of manufacturing job cuts announced in Indiana in the past two days to more than 950, another sign of a deepening recession that has depressed sales of automobiles and other vehicles.

via Friction Holdings to close Crawfordsville plant, ending 460 jobs | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star .

TAMPA, FL — Charities are becoming another victim of these tough economic times.

With less donations coming in this holiday season, the Tampa Bay chapter of the Red Cross was forced to lay off almost half their staff yesterday, spokeswoman Abi Weaver told ABC Action News.

22 of the chapter’s 48 employees were let go yesterday and one vacant position will not be filled.

via Tampa Bay Red Cross lays off 22 employees | WFTS-TV | First in HD .

Honda Motor Co said on Friday it would further cut vehicle production in North America as it adjusts to plunging automobile demand.

Tokyo-based Honda is reducing production by another 119,000 vehicles for its fiscal year ending March 31, bringing expected production for the fiscal year to 1.3 million units.

Honda spokesman Ed Miller said the cuts will take place at five of Honda’s seven plants in the US and Canada. Employees at the plants will be given other tasks or can take paid or unpaid vacation time, he said. No layoffs will result from the cuts, he said.

Production cut at five North American Honda facilities

ALEXANDRIA, La. — Union Tank Car Co. has laid off 130 workers, including 50 employees in Alexandria.

Company spokesman Bruce Winslow said the layoffs took effect Friday.

Winslow said the Alexandria plant was being cut back to produce just 50 rail cars per week, down from the current 60 cars per week.

via Union Tank Car lays off 130 | STATE NEWS | KHOU.com | News for Houston, Texas.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Citing a weakening demand for soda, London-based beverage can maker Rexam says it will close its Oklahoma City plant by the end of March.

Sixty-six union workers and 14 salaried employees are likely to be without jobs when the plant closes.

via Beverage can business announces plant closing.

NEW YORK (WABC) — The FDNY is also feeling the sharp edge of the city budget knife.There are plans to slash night time staffing at four firehouses. One of them is Engine Company 161 on Mcclean Avenue in Staten Island — where angry residents staged a protest today.

They shouted “161!!!.. 24-7 !!,” because they hope the city will somehow save their firehouse. Engine Company 161 is set to close between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. to save the city money…well these residents fear it’ll end up costing lives…

via FDNY to cut staffing during overnight hours – 12/13/08 – New York News and Tri-State News – 7online.com.

MIDDLE AMANA, Iowa – Officials with Whirlpool Corp. have announced that they are seeking voluntary layoffs at its refrigeration plant in Middle Amana.

The company told KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids that employees were told this week that the company is looking for 150 voluntary layoffs by Jan. 5.

via Whirlpool announces more layoffs at Iowa plant — chicagotribune.com.

The pink slips are being handed out once again at Alcatel-Lucent.

The struggling telecommunications equipment maker yesterday announced it will eliminate another 1,000 white-collar jobs and trim another 5,000 contract workers as part of a cost-cutting plan to return the company to profitability.

Mary Lou Ambrus, a spokesman for Alcatel-Lucent, said the cuts would take place globally, but declined to say how many workers would lose their jobs in New Jersey, where the company has about 4,500 employees and contractors. Globally, the company employs 77,000.

via Alcatel-Lucent plans more job cuts – NJ.com.

Mike: The following article shows a store closing, wihch is likelyto affect tens of people, but thses are the type of job losses that go unreported, except in the town that it immediately affects.  If you know of any smaller layoffs, store closings, manufacturing relocation or other job losses in your town, post them in the comment section or send me an email and I’ll post them to the daily board.

Sue Bearrie Fine Linen & Fashion Boutique, 5611 Colleyville Blvd., Colleyville, is closing. Fashion merchandise, accessories, jewelry and handbags are 50 percent off while they last. The linens carried by the store will be moved to the Linen Boutique, 5600 W. Lovers Lane, Dallas, on Jan. 1.

via Shop talk: Sue Bearrie closing, free e-cards and Burlington Coat Factory deal | Living | Star-Telegram.com.

Mike: States are getting jammed with calls and exhausting funds at this early stage of this recession:

TOPEKA, Kan. –The Kansas Department of Labor’s Unemployment Contact Center is feeling the effects of the national economic recession with an unusually high number of calls and wait times. Increased inquiries regarding both regular unemployment and extended unemployment programs are causing an average wait time of 25 to 35 minutes to speak with a representative

via High Call Volumes and Wait Times at Kansas Unemployment Center .

A record $8.3 million in regular state and federal extended unemployment benefits were paid to nearly 32,000 jobless Idaho workers this past week, a further sign of a deepening recession.

The Idaho Department of Labor paid more than $6.5 million in regular benefits to just over 25,000 people and another $1.8 million in federally financed extended benefits to 6,800 more, who had already exhausted their regular state allotments.

via LocalNews8.com Idaho Falls, Pocatello – Weather, News, Sports – Idaho Pays Out Record Unemployment Benefits Amount.

Mike: Another UE office hiring

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) – These are tough economic times, but there’s one branch of Vermont state government that’s hiring new workers.

The state needs more people at unemployment offices to answer telephone calls for people filing new claims or asking about old ones.

via Fox 44 – Burlington and Plattsburgh News, Weather and Sports – Fox44.net | Vermont unemployment offices hiring.

State agencies that distribute unemployment benefits and try to match the laid-off with an ever-shrinking work pool are doing some hiring of their own. They increased overtime, expanded hours and added telephone lines and computer terminals to try to keep up with a suddenly soaring demand for jobs as businesses cut costs to cope with sagging sales.

via We’re hiring, employment offices say | National | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

Manassas officials announced a series of layoffs Friday and a plan to restructure the city’s government to save almost $2.6 million over the next few years.

“These changes are the most dramatic this organization has ever seen,” City Manager Lawrence D. Hughes said. “It is driven by these unprecedented economic times we are in.”

The equivalent of 20 full-time positions, 4 percent of the city’s total, was eliminated Friday, Hughes said. Directors of the departments of public works, economic development, information technology, and recreation and parks were laid off. Five other eliminated positions were already vacant, two through retirement. The remaining layoffs were in information technology, recreation and parks, and public works.

via Manassas Cuts Staff, Plans City Overhaul – washingtonpost.com.

LAKEWOOD — Officials for Kimball Medical Center confirmed today the hospital administration will layoff another 10 employees.

Only two workers have been let go as of today, with the remaining 10 occurring in the “near future,” hospital spokeswoman Kristine Brown said.

via UPDATE: Hospital official confirms more layoffs planned | APP.com | Asbury Park Press.

A&E Television Networks and ReelzChannel have become the latest in a slew of media companies to hand out pinkslips this month.

AETN, which includes A&E Network, History and Biography Channel, has laid off 20 staffers, including full-time employees in the digital-media division and a number of freelancers. AETN’s total work force includes about 650 employees across its cable networks.

ReelzChannel, meanwhile, has laid off 40-plus employees, mostly because network execs have decided to reformat the weekday movie-news show “Dailies” into roughly three-minute segments, tentatively titled “ReelzChannel Movie News,” that will air at least once an hour seven days a week, starting in January. ReelzChannel programs 20 hours a day.

via Layoffs hit A&E Nets, ReelzChannel.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Petty Enterprises released at least three dozen employees Monday as the team continues to search for either a merger or a miracle that would keep the famed organization operating in 2009.

The latest round of layoffs pushed the total to almost 70 employees. Petty Enterprises released 30 employees the day after the Nov. 18 season finale.

via Sioux City Journal : Petty Enterprises releases at least 35 employees

Mike: Tomorrow’s another day:

 

Tony Auth - Dec. 14

Tony Auth - Dec. 14

 

 

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