Mike: Good day to all. Today was an hectic day for layoff announcements and those announcements encompassed a wide variety of industries from the expected; GM, to the unexpected in Wal-Mart and with plenty of smaller companies thrown in for good measure. There have been worse days on The Layoff List, but each job lost is an important as any other. Let’s hope that our fearless leaders have the common sense to put aside their differences and do what’s best for the country. Now that was a foolish statement. Sorry, I lost my head thinking that those elected lobbyists would think of the betterment of all instead of their own futures as career lobbyists. And in closing, Congress keeps talking about financialresponsibility, so why don’t they introduce legislation that rescinds the COLA raises that they are entitled to each year. They certainly didn’t do anything to deserve raises this year, but then again I jest. The news follows.
International layoff news:
US layoff news:
- GM to cut 10,000 salaried jobs this year
- Qwest Cuts 1,700 Jobs
- Advance Auto Parts to cut 270 jobs
- Teva Pharmaceuticals to cut 300
- 700 Layoffs Begin At Wal-Mart
- GE Transportation laying off 1,550; 350 for good
- Sega/Sammy to Shed 560 Jobs
Mike: Today’s prominent news story is once again the construction of the stimulus package. Let’s see who wins with this legislation and who losses besides the taxpayer. Since this blog is related to jobs, I still don’t see immediate relief for those that are currently unemployed, which is a substantial portion of the workforce with unemployment numbers estimated as high at 18%.
Tax breaks for autos and homes will likely help those markets somewhat, but I have also read that those tax breaks may actually increase the price of both cars and homes as sellers consider that those who buy a new car or another house will pay more to get the tax break. I tend to agree with the washingtonpost.com article, which argues that “the credit would do little to reduce swollen inventories: Homeowners who used this tax break to get a new house would have to put their old one up for sale” and that it’s “unclear how many people would be lured into the new-car market, already rich with dealer incentives.” The bottom line for me is that these tax perks can only be used by those with jobs and fine credit scores. If you are one of the 18% who is unemployed or under-employed, these tax breaks are of minimal use. Where are the unemployment insurance tax breaks, which would be immediately stimulative to those collecting unemployment? Eliminate the federal and state income taxes for unemployment insurance to help those that need the extra money now. Helping the unemployed and under-employed get affordable health insurance would also put extra cash into the pockets that most desperately need it, but I don’t see that in this package.
Will the tax credits for buying more cars and more homes stimulate those two moribund businesses? I think the impact will be minimal, since those that have a job and excellent credit may benefit, but those who are under-employed and unemployed will be left out of the mix again. Give the tax breaks to those that need it, not only to those who already have the resources.
* But that measure still contains some dubious provisions, especially on the tax side. A $15,000 tax credit for new home purchases this year, which would cost more than $35 billion, looks especially wasteful. The proposal, drafted by Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), is supposed to stimulate the moribund housing market. Actually, because it is not limited to first-time homebuyers, the credit would do little to reduce swollen inventories: Homeowners who used this tax break to get a new house would have to put their old one up for sale. The Senate bill would also create an $11 billion deduction for sales taxes on car purchases and auto loan interest, a proposal sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). It’s unclear how many people would be lured into the new-car market, already rich with dealer incentives, by this additional one. Given the modest probable benefits, Congress should cut these provisions and consider devoting at least some of the savings to spending that is likely to provide more immediate bang for the buck.
* Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co. and Centex Corp., the second-largest U.S. homebuilder by sales, would be among the biggest winners under the $838 billion stimulus measure the U.S. Senate is poised to pass today.
The Senate is more generous to automakers and homebuilders than the House was in the $819 billion measure it passed last month. Alternative-energy companies and closely held builders such as Sundt Construction Inc. in Tempe, Arizona, fare less well under the Senate bill.
President Barack Obama, who has said he wants stimulus legislation on his desk by the weekend, is counting on the plan to help revive an economy that has lost 3.6 million jobs since December 2007, sending the unemployment rate to the highest level since 1992. The plan would trigger the biggest burst of public works spending since the interstate highway system was started in the 1950s.
- Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors/News
General Economic News
US and some Canada Layoff News
* * SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Intel Corp. plans to spend $7 billion upgrading its U.S. factories over the next two years, a sign that the recession hasn’t extinguished chip makers’ lust for cutting-edge equipment.
The company’s investment, announced Tuesday by Intel CEO Paul Otellini at a speech in Washington, speaks to the semiconductor industry’s need to keep investing heavily, regardless of the economic climate.
* WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesalers cut back on their inventories in December by the largest amount in nearly 17 years, and economists say more reductions are likely amid the deepening recession.
The ongoing inventory reductions mean wholesalers likely will order fewer new goods, leading to reduced production and potentially more job layoffs.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that wholesale inventories plunged by 1.4 percent, nearly double analysts’ expectations of 0.8 percent and the steepest since records began in January 1992. It also was the fourth straight monthly decline.
* SHANGHAI (AP) — China’s monthly vehicle sales surpassed those in the United States for the first time in January, moving this country closer to becoming the world’s biggest auto market, data released Tuesday showed.
Mike: This financial crisis is not confined to the US border and it is quickly increasing its damaging affects:
* Rising unemployment, high debt and the continuing credit crunch has caused personal bankruptcies in Canada to soar, and if people’s worst fears about their jobs are realized, the problem isn’t about to go away any time soon.
Overall bankruptcies jumped 46.7% to 8,299 in December, up from 5,659 a year earlier, the federal Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy reported Monday.
* * An automotive industry analyst said Ford Motor Co. could be considering shuttering the automobile side of its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo by 2011.
Mike: It’s similar to an arsonist who burns down 100s of homes and leaves people homeless in the streets saying, “I’m sorry that I burned down all those homes and left those people homeless, but can I collect some insurance money anyway?”
* LONDON (AP) — The former heads of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and HBOS PLC apologized to shareholders and the public on Tuesday for the near collapse and subsequent government bailout of the two banks — events that encompassed widescale job cuts and hefty financial losses.
Former RBS chairman Tom McKillop and chief executive Fred Goodwin and their HBOS counterparts Dennis Stevenson and Andy Hornby met pressure to present a penitent stance as they appeared before a Parliamentary committee to explain what went wrong at the once-proud banks.
* ROCHESTER— Up to 46 jobs could be cut from the School Department in order to meet the city’s tax cap, school administrators say.
Officials proposed a long list of potential staff reductions to the School Board’s Personnel Committee on Monday night.
* * Kern County is close to closing its budget gap. On Monday county supervisors voted to cut spending by $29 million and lay off 12 county workers. But the plan is still $14 million short of their goal of ending the year with no red ink, and county administrators have two weeks to find the final savings.
* MOUNTAIN HOUSE — Faced with a $500,000 budget shortfall, the developing community of Mountain House has seen a 36 percent reduction in its workforce.
Last week, the Mountain House Community Services District laid off eight of its 22 employees, said Paul Sensibaugh, Mountain House general manager. The positions eliminated range from engineering to maintenance workers.
* Tax Commission Chairman Royce Chigbrow said workers let go in December due to budget cuts included 47 temporary auditors and collectors who help generate $7.5 million annually, seven times what was saved by the layoffs.
In all, 58 people lost posts at the agency. Layoffs, mandatory furloughs, reduced wages and operating cost reductions saved Chigbrow’s agency just over $1.1 million.
* Macomb County commissioners approved the layoffs of 14 employees this morning but gave a key union a chance to save the jobs if it approves a labor contract this week.
* In an effort to balance a budget with a shortfall of over $1.1 million, the city of Canton has laid off 14 percent of its workforce. The city also said that a property tax hike that is described as `substantial` is pretty much a lock for next year.
* NORWALK – Thirty jobs will be cut and the two full-time registrar of voter positions will be reduced to part-time jobs as Norwalk’s Finance Director Tom Hamilton unveiled an “austere” $279.6 million 2009-10 operating budget Monday night.
* The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to eliminate 27 positions within San Diego County to help offset a $90 million decline in property and sales tax revenues.
* DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says it’s cutting 10,000 salaried jobs, blaming the need to restructure the company amid the continued drop in new vehicle sales.
AP – A Chevrolet Sports Wagon is on display at a General Motors dealership in Sunnyvale, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 3, …
The Detroit-based automaker says it will reduce its total number of salaried workers to 63,000 from 73,000 this year. About 3,400 of GM’s 29,500 salaried U.S. jobs are expected to be eliminated.
* NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors Corp. is planning to slash another 10,000 salaried jobs this year, saying the cuts are unavoidable with a government restructuring deadline looming and industrywide sales in one of the worst downturns in history.
* Qwest Communications International Inc.’s (Q) fourth-quarter net income dropped 49.5% as a decline in the number of access lines pressured voice segment results and the telecommunications provider cut 1,700 jobs, more than it had originally forecast.
* National Envelope Corp. has decided to shut down its manufacturing operation in Houston.
The company, which has about 4,600 employees, did not tell the commission how many Houston employees would be affected.
* ROANOKE, Va. — Advance Auto Parts Inc. says it will outsource the shipment of merchandise from distribution hubs to stores, eliminating about 270 driver and support jobs.
* After more than two decades of aerial coverage, WNEP-TV Channel 16’s decision to ground Skycam 16 was made official Feb. 3.
Asked about the reason behind the decision, station general manager Chuck Morgan declined to comment, but did confirm that it was not because of economic reasons, as he has said in previous interviews.
* Frog, Switch & Manufacturing Co. in Carlisle laid off eight employees Friday in response to lower order rates. The company also began working a four-day work week this week.
* Alcoa Fastening Systems confirmed Monday that it has laid off 20 employees at its Waco plant because of worsening economic conditions.
The company, which is located at 8001 Imperial Drive, makes large fasteners for railroad cars and freight trucks.
* Case New Holland will shut down production and lay off some workers temporarily at its Wichita plant for a second time in four months.
The plant will stop making skid-steer loaders for three or four weeks in March and April, said a company spokesman today.
* In the wake of a recent external review, Woodstock General Hospital (WGH) began laying off workers Monday as part of its efforts to curtail a growing operating deficit.
The exact number of workers who received layoff notices was not known at press time, but hospital president Natasa Veljovic indicated in a January interview that WGH would likely be shedding the equivalent of 30 full-time positions as part of its cost-cutting measures.
* Nearly 6 dozen employees at Thermo King in Hastings learned Monday they were being laid off. The company confirmed to News 5 it is letting go of 70 workers. The layoffs take affect February 19th.
Thermo King makes temperature control systems for trucks, trailers, busses and other vehicles.
* Clothing retailer Talbots has laid off about 120 employees from its Lakeville distribution center, nearly a quarter of the site’s work force, according to a company spokeswoman.
The Hingham-based women’s clothing chain carried out the layoffs last week as part of a broader effort to cut costs in the troubled economy.
* Louisiana Tech University laid off about 30 workers last week because of statewide mid-year budget cuts and concern about the looming budget cut for the next fiscal year.
* ATTICA, Ind. (WLFI) – Harrison Steel Castings Company Vice President and General Manager Geoff Curtis said the company had to reduce its workforce by 10 percent. He said the recent slowdown at places like Caterpillar had a major impact on business at the steel company.
– 92 employees of Harrison Steel learned they were out of jobs last Friday.
* Blackhawk Foundry & Machine Co., 323 S. Clark St., Davenport, has laid off about 30 employees, company president Jim Grafton said Monday.
* One month after announcing a cost-cutting plan to reduce expenses, Cascade Healthcare Community Inc. went one step further Monday, starting a layoff process that will save the company $6.2 million annually, but result in 74 lost jobs and reduced hours for 45 additional employees.
* SAN JOSE, Calif. — Zilog Inc. plans to cut 35 percent of its workforce amid losses and slumping sales.
“The rapid contraction in the global economy and the clouded outlook for demand has caused us to take significant cost reduction actions that included a 35 percent reduction in our worldwide headcount and a 10 percent salary reduction for all of our North America employees along with executive staff,” said Darin Billerbeck, Zilog’s president and chief executive, in a statement.
* Tough economic times have forced Canuck producer, distributor and music company Entertainment One to restructure its U.S. music operations and postpone its listing on the Toronto stock exchange.
– Entertainment One will lay off approximately 30 of its 250 staffers at E1 Music Stateside.
* More than 60 people will be laid off when a Shafter roofing material plant is ”mothballed” in a few weeks, according to documents filed with the County of Kern and the City of Shafter.
* The slowdown in the global economy has forced Black & Veatch, the area’s largest engineering firm, to layoff 140 employees in its energy division.
* The maker of Wonder Bread has cut 38 jobs in Columbus because the local bakery is not equipped to make a new all-natural bread line, the company said.
* DLA Piper has launched its second layoff consultation in just three months with up to 140 jobs under threat.
The review, which could see as many as 30 fee earners and more than 100 members of support staff made redundant, will affect staff at all of the firm’s eight U.K. offices. The consultation will not include partners.
* Teva Pharmaceuticals on Monday filed notice with the state of Florida that it will lay off 300 employees at its plant in Doral.
* Exchange operator IntercontinentalExchange Inc. said Tuesday it plans to cut between 5 percent and 7 percent of its staff during the first quarter.
The cuts represent a reduction of about 40 to 55 jobs. ICE had 795 employees at the end of 2008.
* Stevens Graphics Inc. informed state officials it plans to cut 70 jobs at its Birmingham printing plant.
The Atlanta-based company filed notice with a state agency that it will cut the jobs starting March 1. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification site operated by the state does not say if the jobs were temporary layoffs or permanent cuts. An official with the company did not respond to questions about the filing.
via Insider: – al.com.
* A Mooresville auto parts supplier has halted production for the month of February and cut 85 jobs as it deals with sagging auto sales.
The cuts at NGK Ceramics USA Inc. represent 18 percent of the 470-employee work force, says Steve Dailey, vice president and general manager.
* NEW YORK (AP) — The wave of book publishing cuts has now reached HarperCollins.
The publisher of such authors as David Wroblewski and Joyce Carol Oates has closed the Collins division, dedicated to nonfiction books, and laid off a “small percentage” of employees.
* MGP also said in the Monday release that it laid off 14 nonunion employees at its Atchison headquarters. The layoffs mainly involved support service and administrative personnel, and resulted primarily from the company’s reduction in alcohol production. The layoffs were in addition to the recent temporary layoffs, permanent layoffs and early retirements affecting 183 union and nonunion employees at its Pekin, Ill., and Atchison operations combined.
* MUNCIE — A longtime Muncie box-making plant is reportedly targeted for closing, ending the jobs of 154 workers.
The Graphic Packaging International Plant on Butterfield Road — formerly Smurfit-Stone — will close in the coming months, according to a company announcement released this morning.
* A local computer network products company is closing, putting 62 people out of work in April.
Emerson Network Power Embedded Computing, 8310 Excelsior Drive, plans to start laying people off April 6 and continue through April 20.
* About 30 employees at Prime PVC lost their jobs Monday when the private-equity firm that controls the company announced to employees that it is shutting its doors.
Prime PVC, 1400 N. Washington St., is a longtime producer of plastic composites for industrial manufacturers.
* Domtar Corporation announced Monday that 185 people will lose their jobs at the end of February. Domtar is permanently shutting down one of the two paper machines at the plant in Plymouth, according to a press release.
* Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., began laying off 700 employees at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club home offices this morning.
Ed Clifford, president of the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce, said he began hearing of the layoffs about 9:30 a.m. today. He said the effect of the action will be widespread across Northwest Arkansas.
* DANBURY – Ethan Allen Global, Inc., based in Danbury, announced an unidentified number of layoffs Tuesday morning, although several sources have told The News-Times the number locally is about 60.
* The Oilgear Company in Fremont is laying off 13 employees.
In a press release issued Monday, the company announced a 10 percent workforce reduction due to the weakened global economy impacting its customers.
* Perfumania has notified the state that it plans to lay off 95 employees at its facility in Sunrise, starting March 27 and going through June 26
* RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — NetApp (Nasdaq: NTAP) laid off 6 percent of its work force on Monday, the company disclosed in a statement to the online publication ChannelWeb.
* Pentair Electronic Packaging, one of Poway’s largest employers, is cutting 158 jobs from its local payroll as part of a restructuring of the unit that is part of Pentair Inc., a diversified global manufacturer based in Minneapolis with more than $3 billion in annual sales.
* Close to 60 people will lose their jobs at Pittsburgh International Airport, after US Airway officials announced a series of layoffs.
* YORK — An auto parts manufacturer will lay off 130 workers at its York facility as it shifts production to a plant in Illinois.
Champion Laboratories says the layoffs will occur over the next two months. The jobs will go to a plant in Albion, Ill., but the York facility will continue to make products for many of North America’s major automakers, Champion officials said.
* In one of the more creative ways to save money, the Toronto Metro laid off all its staff writers and hired unpaid interns to replace them.
Union president, Brad Honywill, doesn’t think this is such a good plan. “In this kind of environment, layoffs are inevitable,” he said. “But we reject the notion they can fill jobs with interns hired three days beforehand.”
* Santa Ana’s STEC Inc., a maker of flash memory drives for industrial uses, is set to cut some 200 jobs and move work to a new factory it built in Malaysia.
* ERIE, Pa. – Erie-based GE Transportation says it is laying off 1,550 workers, including 350 whose jobs will be cut permanently.
* Greensboro, NC — A local fabric production company announced late Monday they are making cuts to their workforce.
Unifi, a producer and processor of multi-filament polyester and nylon textured yarns, say they will reduce their 2,200 domestic workforce by eight-percent.
* The economic axe keeps falling, with news today that Sega/Sammy Holdings intends to lay off 560 jobs and close 110 amusement facilities as part of its readjusted projected forecast for the year. GameDaily reports that voluntary redundancies will account for the 560 planned layoffs, which totals roughly one sixth of the overall workforce.
* Baker University President Pat Long announced 23 layoffs system-wide at the four campuses as the result of a $1 million shortfall in the budget. Those layoffs were made Thursday and Friday and should be the last, she said.
* VERO BEACH – David Gray and his wife found themselves without jobs at Piper Aircraft Inc. on Tuesday.
“It’s pretty crummy the way they did things,” said David Gray, a four-year Piper welder. “There’s not much we can do now except grin and bear it.”
The Grays join an estimated 300 Piper employees laid off by the company without severance on Tuesday.
* Verizon Wireless has laid off 45 percent of the employees that worked at in-store Circuit City locations, according to Verizon Wireless spokesperson Harold Waterman. Fierce received an email from Waterman this afternoon responding to an inquiry we sent earier in the day and said the company would provide severance and outplacement services to “those we cannot unfortunately retain.”
* Tembec’s Canal Flats mill and Canfor’s Radium Hot Springs mill are among those being closed, leaving about 350 local workers in the lurch.
* Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) — UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank, plans to eliminate an additional 2,000 jobs at its securities unit and expects to be profitable in 2009, after posting a record loss last year.
UBS rose as much as 7.1 percent in Swiss trading after saying its wealth and asset management businesses recorded net increases in client investments in January, following larger- than-estimated withdrawals in the fourth quarter.
* GENEVA (AFP) — Swiss bank UBS on Tuesday posted an annual loss of 17 billion dollars (13 billion euros) in 2008, the largest in Swiss corporate history, and announced 2,000 new job cuts.
* Salcomp said it had cut 3,300 jobs alone during the fourth quarter to adjust to the lower demand.
Finland’s Salcomp said its market share fell to 20 percent from 24 percent in the year ago period as the top five cellphone makers — its clients — lost some share to smaller brands.
* Food group Glanbia is seeking 210 redundancies as part of a previously-announced cost saving plan, a spokeswoman confirmed this morning.
* Luxury carmaker Bentley has said it is cutting 220 jobs and also revealed all staff will take a 10% pay cut.
* Showa Denko K.K. said Monday it will cut some 150 jobs by March at its plant for components for hard disk drives in Taiwan.
* Dozens of applicants made their way to Kohl’s department store in Alameda trying to land a job — one of 150 positions available beginning in April.
Mike: Till tomorrow………….