February 7, 8: Weekend Edition – $800 billion stimulus set to pass – Congress restricts H1B hiring for bailed out banks – Merix cuts 230 – Maples Industries floors 100s – How low will you go (pay wise)?

Some weekend news:  Senate approves restriction on foreign hires, Senate reaches tentative stimulus deal, GM Finalizing Plans To Close Factories . More news as the weekend moves along…….

 

Mike: This could be the wave of the future when it comes to hiring:

* Finding a job now is difficult. Competition is fierce. How low a pay will you accept? In Boston, college grads have create a new website where Job Seekers Bid On Low Pay.

 

Mike: It looks like Congress has decided to pull the string on about $800 billion in stimulus. The Democrats demand spending and the Republicans, what’s left of them, demand more tax cuts. I’m not a fan of either party, but the demand for further tax cuts is just the continuation of the Bush policy, which was a failure, since the results of that tax cut policy are what we are seeing now. Although temporary tax cuts can put a few extra dollars in the hands of those who have a paycheck, it does little for those who are unemployed. It’s not in the Republican mantra to lower the taxes of unemployment checks, since their focus is geared more for upper income tax cuts. The Democrats, for their part, wanted to fund everything under the sun no matter the immediate value to the economy and the unemployed. Tax cuts sound good, but are not the answer to steepening unemployment. If I receive a 10% income tax cut, I’ll be saving it and not spending it, and I have a feeling many others would do the same. The result of that tax cut would be greater savings, but little in job creation spending. 

Just as an example on how tax cuts can cut both ways, I have seen how many businesses are granted tax cuts, tax abatements and grants worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for promises of job creation and those jobs are minimally created, but usually never created at all. But if you eliminate unemployment insurance taxes, those extra dollars a likely to be spent. We will see who benefits most from these Republican tax cuts and Democrat spending plans in the next few days, but don’t be surprised if you are sitting back and shaking your head after you review the plan and see that it’s more of the same: Congress supports the big dollar campaign contributors and the public gets a few scraps to keep them from taking to the streets. Time will tell. End of rant………. Onto the news this weekend. 

 

* WASHINGTON — On a day when new unemployment statistics showed that 11.6 million Americans are out of work, Senate Democratic leaders announced they had struck a compromise to advance an economic stimulus bill.

A small, bipartisan group of moderate Senators emerged from closed-door negotiations with White House officials Friday evening and said they had reached an agreement to trim $110 billion from the stimulus bill by reducing tax cuts and spending less money on education.

via Senate reaches tentative stimulus deal – USATODAY.com.

 

                    

 

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News

 

* Apparently, even technology companies want a bail-out.

Recently, the CEOs of Google, IBM, and other technology companies converged on the White House to lobby President Obama for key measures like broadband investments to be included in the U.S. government stimulus package. It’s one thing to see U.S. auto makers, perpetually inefficient and ineffective in the market, begging for government hand-outs. It’s quite another to see the leaders of the world’s most successful technology companies seeking the dole, as well.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt made it clear what he hoped to gain from his government intervention in The Wall Street Journal:

Eric Schmidt of Google Inc. said in an interview that he appreciated the emphasis on renewable-energy technology and the deployment of broadband services. “All of that is a real positive for [Google],” he said. “The things that we asked for are in there.”

via Can we please keep Google and IBM out of the government bail-out trough? | The Open Road – CNET News.

 

Mike: Looking on the positive side of this, at least it’s a chance to learn a new language……..

ibm6* CNN has obtained an internal IBM document detailing how employees who face losing their jobs in North America will be given the opportunity to reclaim them by working overseas.

“Project Match,” as the program is dubbed, will let employees from the United States and Canada take posts at IBM branches in India, Nigeria, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates, according to the document.

via Losing your job? You can reclaim it overseas | Coop’s Corner – CNET News.

 

Mike: For a view of tech specific layoffs and discussion, pay a visit to:

 

General Economic News

 

Mikbn e: The following article is an excellent demographic overview of yesterday’s unemployment numbers.

* WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployed population is getting older and more educated as companies ramp up layoffs and the recession deepens.

The total number of unemployed increased by more than 50 percent from January 2008 through last month, but the number of jobless Americans 55 or older jumped 70 percent, according to new Labor Department numbers released Friday.

And for people with college degrees, the number rose even more sharply, by nearly 85 percent.

The numbers confirmed a trend that job cuts are moving up the age and educational ladders, said Andrew Stettner, deputy director of the National Employment Law Project.

via The Associated Press: Meltdown 101: Unemployment by the Numbers.

 

Couples who work for 1 company face financial hazard these days: losing both incomes at once – 

It is a well-known risk to lack diversity in an investment portfolio. Now, couples employed by the same company are learning a similar lesson, the hard way.

As layoffs mount across the country and in all sectors, couples who are co-workers are increasingly vulnerable to losing their families’ twin sources of income at once. The lack of variety in job skills can also make it difficult to bounce back, especially in a struggling industry

via More co-worker couples losing both incomes at once: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

 

* NEW YORK – The bar was crowded with well-dressed professionals enjoying drinks and conversation, a typical evening — except that many of them had no job.

The event was a Wall Street Pink Slip Party, where the unemployed mix with recruiters and curious bystanders to network, look for work, and share their stories.

With employers shedding 600,000 more jobs in January, the undercurrent at this party in a Manhattan bar was decidedly glum.

via Legions facing layoffs turn to parties, Internet – Yahoo! News.

 

gm3* DETROIT -(Dow Jones)- General Motors Corp. (GM), which has made deep production cuts in recent years, will announce plans to shutter more U.S. factories when it presents a viability plan to the government on Feb. 17, people familiar with the plans said.

via GM Finalizing Plans To Close Factories Amid Falling Sales-Sources.

 

gm2* Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) — General Motors Corp., trying to cut enough costs by a March 31 deadline to keep $13.4 billion in U.S. aid, is readying a plan to fire thousands of salaried employees, people familiar with the plans said.

The company will include the plans in a Feb. 17 progress report to the U.S. government, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plan isn’t public. The total may match the more than 5,000 salaried positions eliminated last year, the people said. GM started offering buyouts to 62,000 union workers this week and is in talks with the United Auto Workers about trimming benefits.

via Bloomberg.com: Worldwide.

 

 

Jeff Stahler - Feb 7

Jeff Stahler - Feb 7

* LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Desperation has moved into this once-middle-class exurb of Fort Myers, where hammers used to pound.

Its straight-ahead stare was hidden amid the chatter of 221 families waiting for free bread at Faith Lutheran Church on a recent Friday morning; and it appeared a block away a few days earlier, as laid-off construction workers in flannel shirts scavenged through trash bags at a home foreclosure, grabbing wires, CDs, anything that could be sold.

“I knew it was coming,” said Gloria Chilson, 56, the former owner of the house, as she watched strangers pick through her belongings. “You take what you can; you try not to care.”

Welcome to the American dream in high reverse. Lehigh Acres is one of countless sprawling exurbs that the housing boom drastically reshaped, and now the bust is testing whether the experience of shared struggle will pull people together or tear them apart.

via In Florida, Despair and Foreclosures – NYTimes.com.

 

Mike: Following is a good piece on the initial stages of the next bank bailout proposal.  If you are tired of your elected representatives (I use that word lightly) taking more money from you and dumping it down a bottomless rat hole of banking malfeasance, then I urge you to contact your representative and demand that they demand accountability from these banking thieves. Without proper accounting and transparency the same games will be played with your taxpayer dollars; those dollars will disappear into the banking rat hole never to be seen again. No wait, the banking execs will see millions in their pocket at the expense of, you, the taxpayer. Congress.org – Contact your representative

* The Wall Street Journal just came out with a piece outlining a multiple-choice hairball of options which Treasury Secretary Geithner is considering. The sad truth is this: his plan will fail. Why? Excessive complexity. For a plan of this magnitude to work, it needs to be straight-forward, easy to understand, clearly communicated, brutally transparent, and ruthlessly executed. The chance of the Treasury and Congress arriving at a plan that meets these criterion appears to be approaching zero. Further, the plan is still missing a few key components, such as transparency of bank asset values and avoiding the forced requirement to lend money, flying in the face of rational decision-making and market forces.

via Information Arbitrage: YOU, the U.S. Taxpayer, Can’t Handle the Truth.

 

* FOND DU LAC, Wis. – Jay Capelle would give anything to get back his factory job of 32 years. At the same time, he’s grateful to have extra time on his hands these days to care for his ailing wife, stay in shape and work on a long-planned baseball documentary.

The unemployed are stressed out about unpaid bills, dashed retirement plans and the loss of workplace camaraderie. But many say life minus work also has its bittersweet upsides, including more time with family and friends, learning new skills, focusing on their health and pursuing hobbies.

There is a wide range of opinions, of course, about just how sweet, or bitter, the experience has been.

An idled auto worker in Wisconsin cherishes extra time with his kids, and his guitar. A former communications worker in Virginia finds time for hiking as a distraction from the job search. But two jobless friends in North Carolina who’ve played plenty of golf together say enough is enough: they’re ready again for the joy of earning a paycheck.

via Unemployed use time for health, hobbies and family – Yahoo! News.

 

Municipal News

 

* DES MOINES, Iowa — Dozens of Des Moines city employees learned on Friday that they — or some of their colleagues — will soon lose their jobs.

In a closed-door meeting at City Hall, Des Moines Park and Recreation Director Don Tripp told a group of park maintenance employees that layoffs and job cuts are imminent. Similar meetings took place in nine city departments on Friday.

via Des Moines City Workers Get Layoff News – Des Moines News Story – KCCI Des Moines.

 

* MERRILL, Wis. (AP) – The Merrill Area School Board has issued layoff notices to 21 teachers – or 10% of the faculty – to deal with an expected budget shortfall next fall.

via WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports -Budget woes prompt layoffs of Merrill teachers.

 

*Tellabs Inc. said in a regulatory filing Friday that management has launched a cost-cutting restructuring effort that will eliminate 60 jobs at the Naperville communications-equipment maker.

via SEC filing shows Tellabs to cut 60 more jobs — chicagotribune.com.

 

*COOS BAY — The Coos Bay School District announced plans to cut 12 classified employees Friday afternoon, as officials speculate the budget shortfall could reach $1.8 million this year.

via The World Link: Coos Bay schools cut 12 jobs.

 

* Ten surveillance officers who monitor people convicted of sex crimes, felony domestic violence and aggravated driving under the influence will be laid off by April 1.

via 10 monitors of felons on probation to lose jobs | www.azstarnet.com ®.

 

* In one of the clearest signals yet that tough belt-tightening is hitting the municipal level in Essex County, Maplewood intends to lay off 17 employees and shift five full-timers to part-time status in a cost-cutting decision that is to affect 10 percent of the workforce.

 

US and some Canada News

 

chrysler* The Detroit Free Press is reporting the Chrysler LLC will close four of its assembly plants from February 9-13 due to “economic conditions”. The four plants to be idled are in Brampton, Ontario; Sterling Heights, MI.; Belvidere, IL and Detroit.

via Chrysler temporarily closing four plants in February – Autoblog.

 

curtis-packaging* NEWTOWN – Curtis Packaging Corp., a Newtown business since 1845, recently cut 20 people from its 194-person staff.

via Newtown company lays 20 people off – NewsTimes.com.

 

quigley-corp* Doylestown-based Quigley Corp., the parent company of Simon Candy, announced earlier this week that it is closing the factory in Elizabethtown.

The company was unable to say specifically when the factory would close its doors for good, only that it would shut down after it fulfilled its current customer orders. When that happens, about 24 people will be out of a job, according to the Quigley Corp.

via QGLY Simon Candy Co. blames economy, sales for closing.

 

* Despite ending 2008 with a budget surplus, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is cutting its budget, reducing programs and eliminating 16 full-time positions including a top administrator.

via Cultural Trust warily cuts jobs, programs – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

 

fedex-freight* FedEx Freight, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., laid off an unknown number of dock workers Thursday.

Sources said that at least 25 workers were laid off and more cuts may be coming.

via Layoffs confirmed at FedEx Freight – Memphis Business Journal: .

 

* Seven Tribune-Herald employees will lose their jobs in a restructuring plan announced Friday.

This layoff of the full-time positions follows reductions of 16 other full-time jobs made during 2008 by shifting employees into new jobs or by eliminating positions vacated through retirements or resignations, Publisher Belinda Gaudet said.

via Tribune-Herald announces it will cut 7 jobs.

 

cessna* Some Cessna Aircraft Co. employees will work three- and four-day weeks as the company reduces production this year.

The shortened weeks will affect employees in component manufacturing and subassembly production, Cessna spokesman Doug Oliver said. They will begin late next week, Oliver said.

via Cessna shortens workweeks for some | Aviation | Kansas.com.

 

us-steel* About 500 non-union employees have elected to leave U.S. Steel Corp. under a voluntary early-retirement package offered by the steelmaker last month.

The employees include a number of executives the company said it will identify later, as well as an unspecified number of workers at its Downtown headquarters and local steel plants.

via 500 at U.S. Steel accept early-retirement offer – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review .

 

dollar-general1* Tawn Earnest, senior director of corporate communications with Dollar General, said Friday about 100 positions would be affected at the local site as the company restructures its workforce there.

The changes will occur between now and mid-March and the final number of employees affected “will fluctuate somewhat because of natural attrition and placements in existing job openings,” she said. The total number of employees at Zanesville is just under 780.

via Nearly 100 positions to be affected by Dollar General layoffs | zanesvilletimesrecorder.com | Zanesville Times Recorder.

 

* Another 40 jobs were lost Friday at Big West, and the refinery’s owner said more layoffs are coming as it prepares to mothball the troubled plant.

via Big West cuts 40 more jobs – Today’s Paper > Local News | Bakersfield.com – Kern County news, events, shopping & search .

 

corning1* CANTON — The Corning plant will lose 15 salaried positions, company officials said Thursday.

There will be no impact on hourly workers at this time, but Corning Inc. will adjust staffing as needed to meet demand, spokeswoman Kelli C. Hopp-Michlosky said in an e-mail.

via Watertown Daily Times | Canton Corning plant cutting 15 salaried jobs.

 

* 25 Layoffs At Post and Courier

It looks like last year’s buyouts weren’t enough to stop the bleeding at the Post and Courier. Several managers and long-time staff members were let go today as shoulders were tapped and boxes were packed at Charleston’s daily newspaper.

via Press Time | Charleston City Paper » 25 Layoffs At Post and Courier.

 

merix-corp* Printed circuit board maker Merix Corp. announced Friday it has reduced its work force by 230 people this month, or about 6 percent.

Beaverton-based Merix (NASDAQ: MERX) has a manufacturing plant in Forest Grove, one in San Jose, Calif., and additional facilities in China.

via Merix lays off 230 – Portland Business Journal: .

 

newsbank* CHESTER — In another sign of the floundering economy, the town’s largest employer announced Friday it will lay off 25 employees.

NewsBank, which employs 196 people in its Chester office, will cut nearly 13 percent of its work force, effective Feb. 13, said Chief Operating Officer Michael G. Walker.

via Chester employer lays off 25 workers: Rutland Herald Online.

 

* On Friday, WICC 600 AM, a radio station suffering from declining revenues, took the microphone away from Quinn. Cumulus Media Inc. cut at least four jobs from its WICC and WEBE stations and made cuts in other parts of the country, including 11 in the Ohio area.

via WICC, WEBE lay off 4, reshuffle lineups – The Connecticut Post Online.

 

maples-industries* SCOTTSBORO – Maples Industries is reducing its work force to remain competitive, the company says.

The rug producer is Jackson County’s largest employer with more than 2,000 workers.

Larry Bailey, general manager of Maples, said Friday afternoon he could not say how many people will be laid off. But he said it could be hundreds although nowhere near the 600 that has been rumored.

via Scottsboro rug maker to cut jobs – al.com.

 

* Three dozen Western Mass Sheriff Office employees are left without jobs after Governor Patrick’s budget cuts hit them directly.

via Jail Layoffs | CBS 3 – Springfield’s New Choice For Local News | Local News .

 

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cumulus-media* Cumulus Media Inc. Friday laid off 11 full and part-time employees at its seven Toledo radio stations.

via toledoblade.com — .

 

* Drew University to lay off 10% of faculty and staff

Between 35 and 40 people will be laid off, and contributions to all employees’ retirement funds have been suspended, officials said. Job and salary cuts are expected to take effect in early March.

via Drew University to lay off 10% of faculty and staff – Los Angeles Times.

 

exopack* TOMAH — Exopack LLC in Tomah is about to lay off 28 more employees, according to a notice filed Thursday with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

via Exopack to lay off 28 workers : La Crosse Tribune.

 

* DICKINSON, N.D. – St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson has laid off about half a dozen workers.

via Ap |  The Jamestown Sun  | Jamestown, North Dakota .

 

* LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kuhlman Electric Corp. is closing its Versailles plant, a move that will eliminate 185 jobs.

Kuhlman says the selling of part of its transformer production lines in Versailles to Power Partners Inc. of Athens, Ga. makes the plant no longer viable after sale, according to a company issued statement.

via Kuhlman closing Versailles plant, laying off 185 – State & Regional – Wire – Kentucky.com.

 

* Gortech Global Fabrication of DuBois has laid off 15-20 full-time employees, a company official confirmed with The Progress yesterday afternoon.

via The Progress News: Gortech confirms employee layoffs.

 

Mike: I shake my head at these reports of 1/3 or 1/5 of the workforce was laid off. You would think that these reports would give a layoff  total. Having 1/3 of 300 laid off is a bigger story than 1/3 of three getting laid off.

* MAPLESVILLE — South Coast Paper has cut approximately a third of its workforce at its plant in Maplesville.

via Clanton Advertiser | South Coast lays off third of workers.

 

* Hard economic times have taken a toll on another one of Hawaii’s daily newspapers.

The Star-Bulletin announced this afternoon that it will cut 17 jobs.

via Star-Bulletin announces layoffs | KHON2.com – News, Sports, Weather | KHON News .

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International News

 

gm4* General Motors plans to eliminate 600 jobs at its Ramos Arizpe factory in Mexico, according to Reuters.

via General Motors to cut 600 jobs at Mexican car plant – Automotive Business Review.

 

* Stanford has become the first of the top US universities to announce lay-offs as part of its bid to rein in expenditure to deal with an expected shortfall in endowment income. This year the school expects a $15m – 10 per cent – shortfall in income.

via FT.com / Business school news – Stanford culls 49 staff.

 

british-airways* LONDON: British Airways said Friday it would widen job cuts and examine ways to pare spending in all business areas, after reporting a loss for the first nine months of its fiscal year and a 14 percent drop in first- and business-class travel in January.

via British Airways to look at more job cuts to deal with drop in sales – International Herald Tribune.

 

dresdner-kleinwort* Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) — Dresdner Kleinwort will cut as many as 150 jobs in its equity research and cash equities businesses in London after ceasing coverage of non-German companies.

via Bloomberg.com: Germany.

 

* ANZ National has announced nearly 100 job cuts this week, most of which are the latest in the bank’s move to cut costs by offshoring work to Bangalore. Bank workers union Finsec (New Zealand) says the bank has also backed away from prior public commitments to provide all affected staff other work.

via UNI global union – ANZ National sheds 100 jobs.

 

federal-express* MANILA – More than 700 Filipinos lost their jobs Friday as US-based Federal Express (FedEx), the world’s largest air-cargo shipper, ended its operation in the Philippines after 13 years.

via Saudi Gazette – 700 Filipinos lose jobs as FedEx leaves Subic.

 

Mike: Workers demanding to keep their jobs and forcing businesses to account for their actions is becoming more frequent and will continue to do so, especially in European countries. US workers will eventually get into the act, but without organization it will be a more difficult tasks.

Angry workers at the Waterford Wedgewood’s crystal factory in Kilbarry, Ireland have begun an occupation of the factory, following the announcement on January 30 that the factory would be closed.

The closure means that 480 of the 800 workers employed at the factory will immediately lose their jobs. More than 200 workers are involved in the occupation.

via Green Left – Ireland: Workers occupy Waterford crystal factory.

 

Hiring News

 

Mike: A race to the bottom, but a job is a job in this economy……………..

 

* Finding a job now is difficult. Competition is fierce. How low a pay will you accept? In Boston, college grads have create a new website where Job Seekers Bid On Low Pay.

via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis: Website Allows Job Seekers To Bid On Low Pay.

* Jobaphiles is a free job-auction website. You can post a job and local college students and recent grads will then bid for it by indicating how much they’re willing to work for and why they should be hired.

 

The Senate voted Friday to restrict the hiring of foreign workers by banks that are receiving government bailout funds while undergoing vast layoffs.

The legislation by Sens. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, would require the banks to seek American workers before turning to foreign nationals when they’re hiring. It aims to prevent replacement of Americans by foreigners working under the H-1B visa program, which allows employers to bring in workers for high-skilled and advanced-degree jobs.

The measure has a two-year life and if signed into law would apply to the more than 300 banks that are receiving money from the taxpayer-funded Troubled Asset Relief Program.

via The Associated Press: Senate approves restriction on foreign hires.

 

Mike: More news throughout the weekend…………………….

 

Mike: To take a lighthearted break from all the serious layoff news, pay a visit to http://www.the405club.com/

Tom Toles - Feb 6

Tom Toles - Feb 6

 

 

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