The legislation, among other things, would require employers to locate employees laid off since Sept. 1, 2008, who declined COBRA to tell them they have a new right to opt for the coverage with the government picking up 65% of the premium.
- Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors/News
- General Economic News
- Municipal News
- US and some Canada Layoff News
- International News
- Hiring News
– Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News –
* SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced plans to open its own stores despite the economic downturn that has left many retailers struggling.
The company hired David Porter, a 25-year veteran of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., as its corporate vice president of retail stores. Porter was head of worldwide product distribution at DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. since 2007.
* Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) — The stimulus plan emerging from Congress may jolt the U.S. economy in successive waves: relief to cash-strapped consumers, businesses and states, then a job- creating lift from spending on roads, utilities and public transit.
While the package will take time to have an impact, and unemployment is likely to keep rising for months, it will start returning the U.S. toward growth by the end of the year, economists said.
* WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s massive, $790 billion economic stimulus plan is on track for a Friday vote in the House, Democratic leaders say, after a 24-hour delay caused by late, lingering controversy.
AP – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. walks to her office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 12, …
The Senate could vote on the package of spending and tax cuts later in the day or over the weekend, sending the measure to Obama’s desk and awarding him a crucial victory. He says the measure will create or save 3.5 million jobs, while critics contend the bill is filled with wasteful spending and provisions that won’t boost the economy.
* Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) — Confidence among U.S. consumers fell in February as job losses and declining prices for stocks and homes undermined Americans’ view of their financial well-being.
The Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment fell to 56.2, from 61.2 in January. The drop is the first in three months and puts the index near a 28-year low of 55.3 reached in November.
Mike: The following Economist article on the stimulus is worth a read:
*This week marked a huge wasted opportunity in the economic crisis *
Illustration by KAL
THERE was a chance that this week would mark a turning-point in an ever-deepening global slump, as Barack Obama produced the two main parts of his rescue plan. The first, and most argued-over, was a big fiscal boost. After a lot of bickering in Congress a final compromise stimulus bill, worth $789 billion, seemed to have been agreed on February 11th; it should be only days away from becoming law. The second, and more important, part of the rescue was team Obama’s scheme for fixing the financial mess, laid out in a speech on February 10th by Tim Geithner, the treasury secretary.
America cannot rescue the world economy alone. But this double offensive by its biggest economy could potentially have broken the spiral of uncertainty and gloom that is gripping investors, producers and consumers across the globe.
Alas, that opportunity was squandered. Mr Obama ceded control of the stimulus to the fractious congressional Democrats, allowing a plan that should have had broad support from both parties to become a divisive partisan battle. More serious still was Mr Geithner’s financial-rescue blueprint which, though touted as a bold departure from the incrementalism and uncertainty that had plagued the Bush administration’s Wall Street fixes, in fact looked depressingly like his predecessors’ efforts: timid, incomplete and short on detail. Despite talk of trillion-dollar sums, stockmarkets tumbled. Far from boosting confidence, Mr Obama seems at sea.
* BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone suffered its deepest contraction on record in the last quarter of 2008 with its main constituents — Germany, France and Italy — all faring badly, casting severe doubt on any nascent recovery hopes.
Gross domestic product in the 15 countries then using the euro shrank 1.5 percent from the previous quarter, worse than forecasts for a 1.3 percent drop, statistics office Eurostat said on Friday.
“These are huge contractions in Europe, the largest in living memory in most cases,” said Ken Wattret, economist at BNP Paribas.
* Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is now looking at cutting more than 1,200 jobs – 500 more than the superintendent outlined two weeks ago – and some board members say across-the-board pay cuts may be needed as well.
* LYNN – The Lynn School Department mailed, as well as delivered, approximately 120 layoff notices to teachers, clerks and aides Thursday morning as employees anxiously await the results of next Wednesday’s School Committee vote which will determine if teachers and administrators can take a furlough day to save jobs.
* NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) – New Bedford is laying off dozens of city workers because of a $2.8 million cut in state local aid.
Mayor Scott Lang said about 85 workers were let go Thursday and about 100 more will get pink slips on Friday. Lang tells the Standard-Times newspaper he is trying to keep the layoffs below 200 and to maintain the city’s police, fire and emergency service jobs.
* Twenty-five Luzerne County court employees, including the director of probation services and the department’s fiscal director, were notified Wednesday they would be dismissed in the first of a series of layoffs intended to reduce court spending by $2.1 million.
* Despite rising demand for unemployment benefits and food stamps, the Department of Economic Security on Thursday announced furloughs for 9,000 employees and said “a significant number” of layoffs are imminent.
* Exactly 200 public school employees have taken advantage of a buyout offered by Hamilton County Schools, officials confirmed today.
Eight principals, nine assistant principals and 21 central office personnel took the retirement incentive, which was offered last month to long-time employees.
* Layoffs have hit, a branch library is closed and unpaid furloughs are under discussion in Amador County government.
A sizable crowd in supervisors’ chambers Tuesday sat silently as the gloomy message was disseminated.
* OCALA – Five hundred and twenty two teachers learned this morning that they won’t have jobs next year as the Marion County School District moved to pare its budget in anticipation of significant losses of state education money.
* Grappling with softening demand from its customers, Power-One has slashed 1,000 jobs, or 22 percent of its global work force, in an aggressive move to curb operating costs and become more efficient.
Founded in 1973, the Camarillo-based company designs and manufactures power conversion and power management products for communications equipment, including routers, data storage and servers.
* Teck Cominco Ltd., which recently acquired Fording Canadian Coal Trust’s assets in a blockbuster $13 billion deal, is cutting 1,400 jobs, including 93 in Alberta, as the global economic meltdown saps demand and prices cool for metallurgical coal.
* Financial services company USAA is closing its 625-person Sacramento campus by the end of September, and is offering to relocate most of its workers to offices in other states, the company announced Thursday.
* Norfolk to lose 475 jobs in USAA consolidation
NORFOLK — Norfolk is losing 475 jobs as part of a broader consolidation by USAA, an insurance and financial-services company that serves military members and their families.
* An auto parts company with two Northeast Missorui plants is planning additional layoffs and what it calls a temporary production shutdown.
– More than 50 workers at the Monroe City plant will lose their jobs and a two-week shutdown will start on Feb. 16.
* RARITAN TWP. — About half the newsroom staff of the Democrat was laid off yesterday, as NJN Publishing strives to keep the newspaper’s expenses in line with its revenue.
The layoffs included four part-timers and seven full-timers — an editor, five reporters and a photographer.
* A-dec Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of dental chairs and equipment, announced the elimination of nearly 100 jobs at its headquarters in Newberg.
* About 20 University of Sioux Falls employees will lose their jobs and the rest will see immediate 9 percent pay cuts under a plan to save $2.2 million during the next 17 months.
Eleven to 16 staff members will be dismissed today, and four to eight faculty will leave at the end of the semester. Administrators will take the next two weeks to decide which faculty will not return.
* DANVILLE – FreightCar America Inc. plans to cut nearly four of every five jobs at its Danville facility, starting this week.
FreightCar America Inc. started notifying workers this week about what it calls layoffs, according to information filed with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
* The Baltimore Sun announces consolidation measures, plans staff cuts
* APPLETON — Miller Electric Mfg. Co. today announced plans to cut 165 jobs, or roughly 12 percent of its 1,400-person work force in the Fox Cities.
* Office supply chain Staples Inc. says it’s shutting a distribution center in Lincolnshire.
About 130 jobs will be cut when the Lincolnshire location closes later this spring.
* The Wal-Mart return center in south Bibb County will close by mid-September, affecting the jobs of 400 workers.
The return operation for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., where returned merchandise is processed for the company, will be transferred to a third party and relocated near Spartanburg, S.C., said Wal-Mart media spokesman Dan Fogleman from the company’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.
* A feed production plant is shutting down in Arkona, cutting 14 jobs.
The Cargill plant, which supplies dairy operations in Michigan, will shift production to other Cargill plants in Southern Ontario and some workers may land work at those operations, Robert Meijer, director of corporate affairs for Cargill in Winnipeg, said yesterday.
* BigTex, however, is not the only company who has announced layoffs this week. In addition, Oxy Permian, an oil and gas exploration company, told NewsWest 9 they have eliminated a small number of positions, but no word on how many exactly.
NewsWest 9 has also been telling you about the dozens layed off in February as part of the Flint Hills chemical plant shutting down in May. This week, 57 employees were supposed to receive a pink slip.
* However, despite strong growth, McAfee execs said that they anticipate having to further “improve cost efficiencies” with personnel reductions and facility consolidations. Company execs said they will continue to impose travel restrictions, hiring freezes to keep the headcount flat, mandatory time off, salary freezes, and suspension of certain compensation benefits. In addition, McAfee plans include a 50 percent consolidation of Secure Computing’s back office resources, and closing more than two-thirds of Secure’s facilities following the acquisition.
* The Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan is issuing notices which begin March 22nd, and end May 16th.
Spokesperson Ronda Speiss, says many of those employees will have the oppurtunity to work on capital and maintenance projects.
* ROGERSVILLE — TRW Automotive in Rogersville announced to employees Thursday that about 45 permanent layoffs would take effect by the end of the month, reducing the Rogersville plant’s employee count to 330.
SALAMANCA – More than 100 workers at Philadelphia Furniture Manufacturing Co. are dealing with layoffs and weeks of unpaid work as the company’s plant in Salamanca faces closure.
* Washington, D.C. (AHN) – Even lawyers aren’t immune from losing their jobs and that is exactly what happened as one of the nation’s largest law firms, Holland & Knight, felt the pinch of the nation’s recession.
Holland & Knight, with 21 offices in 11 states announced it was laying off 243 employees. That includes 70 lawyers and 173 support staff.
* CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Officials with Yellowbook say about 200 employees in Cedar Rapids will be laid off.
* YELM – Lasco Bathware plant manager Bill Kysor said Wednesday that an additional 20 people directly involved in manufacturing will leave the business at the end of the month.
* SJE-Rhombus, a Detroit Lakes, Minn.-based manufacturer of controls and switches, has laid off 31 workers at its headquarters plant in Detroit Lakes.
* BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Workers at a call center in Bellingham said they lost their jobs on Wednesday when supervisors handed out layoff notices to hundreds of shocked employees.
The workers at Results-Bellingham said the firm that provides call services for several businesses, including a health care provider and a mobile phone company, recently expanded to a 10,000-square-foot building in an industrial park.
The workers said the layoffs came without warning.
* LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD)- Lubbock, Texas is doing well as other parts of the U.S. suffer with major job losses.
– Tyco informed 80 of the 430 workers that they would be laid off.
* UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) – More job losses to report as 40 people being let go worldwide from Indium Corporation.
The developer, manufacturer, and supplier of specialty alloys has a branch in Utica, and Director of Communications Rick Short says that 40 people are being let go across the board.
* NTN Driveshaft has shed 200 jobs. Employees found out in a letter from management Thursday morning. The compnay cites the continued downturn in the automotive industry according to a statement.
* Officials with Rexel USA say the company has laid off several dozen employees at its Meridian location.
* BILLINGS – A shortage of money forced the Crow Tribe to layoff 180 seasonal workers, a tribe official said Thursday.
The employees were laid off last Friday, said Cornelius Little Light, personnel director for the Crow Tribe. On Thursday, the tribe plans to bring in representatives from Job Service of Billings and other agencies to assist the displaced workers.
* Conifer Revenue Cycle Solutions, a division of Tenet Healthcare Corp. subsidiary Conifer Health Solutions Inc., will lay off 57 employees within its Center for Patient Access Services, the company confirmed in a warn letter to the Texas Workforce Commission.
* The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau said yesterday that it would cut its staff and programs, citing a funding shortfall because of the faltering economy and declining tourism.
* PORTSMOUTH – Strawbery Banke, the venerable museum in the heart of the city, is laying off nearly 40 percent of its full-time workers and slashing budgets because of a drop in revenue.
The museum announced in a statement yesterday that it would terminate eight of its 21 full-time year-round workers and significantly cut its seasonal staff, likely by size and the number of hours worked.
* Holland & Knight today confirmed it has cut its associate ranks by 70 and laid off a total of 173 support staff.
The US firm has made widespread cuts, totalling 243 employees, across its 21 offices.
* MONROEVILLE — Harrigan Lumber Co. announced Thursday that it will suspend production at its plant east of here, resulting in the layoff of 87 workers, nearly all of the plant’s current workforce, the company said.
* The Francis Howell Board of Education Thursday night voted unanimously to eliminate at least 62 positions next school year, part of $5.3 million cut from the 2009-2010 budget.
* Canada’s Tembec Inc (TMB.TO) said it will cut 100 jobs and implement a salary freeze for 2009 in an effort to preserve capital amid depressed markets for lumber, pulp and newsprint.
* Eaton Corporation has temporarily laid off 37 employees from its Kearney plant on February 16, 2009.
Officials with the plant told NTV they are hoping by April they will be able to bring them back on, but that it will depend on the markets and demand.
* Sprint Nextel Corp. is closing a warehouse in Grand Prairie and will lay off 204 positions, the company said in a letter to the Texas Workforce Commissio
* ST. LOUIS | St. Louis-based Bryan Cave is laying off 58 lawyers and 76 staff members because of the economic downturn.
* CHICAGO: Cision, the international media monitoring and solutions company, recently laid off “less than 5%” of its North American workforce, according to Vanessa Bugasch, SVP of marketing and client services. One of those let go was Stephen Debruyn, VP of marketing for Cision North America. Andree Beckham, director of marketing, will handle Debruyn’s responsibilities.
* TOLEDO, Ohio — General Motors says about 1,900 workers at two powertrain plants in northwest Ohio will be temporarily laid off this month as the company tries align production with weak demand.
* Albany, N.Y.–Bankrupt retailer Fortunoff Fine Jewelry and Silverware LLC gave New York state notice of its plans to conduct hundreds of layoffs, paperwork filed earlier this week with the New York State Department of Labor shows.
* This week, Reed Elsevier Technology Services — the IT department of Reed Elsevier, the parent company of LexisNexis — “phased out” 19 positions, Annette O’Hanlon, a spokeswoman for Reed Elsevier Technology Services, said today Feb. 13.
* Citing current economic conditions, Paul Mueller Company is laying off 44 of its Springfield office employees, the company said in a news release.
* Several Baltimore-area employers have notified the state of numerous layoffs as Maryland faces rising unemployment amid a deepening recession.
Columbia-based Barton-Cotton Inc., which designs direct-marketing campaigns for nonprofit groups, told state officials that 200 employees would lose their jobs if the company cannot find a buyer. The company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this week.
* The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond said 55 employees in Baltimore will be laid off because the Fed is shutting down the check-processing operations in April.
* PARIS -(Dow Jones)- Airline Air France-KLM (3112.FR) is to cut 1,000 to 1,200 jobs this year through attrition, as people retiring won’t be replaced, a company spokeswoman said Friday.
“These aren’t pure job cuts, these are retirements that won’t be replaced. It’s part of the life of a company,” the spokeswoman said.
Last year, around 2,000 jobs were lost within the company through attrition, she added.
* Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) — Air France-KLM Group, Europe’s biggest airline, said it will eliminate as many as 2,000 jobs after lower ticket revenues and dwindling cargo volumes pushed it to a third-quarter loss.
The cuts at the Air France unit will be achieved by scrapping posts when people leave and no one will be fired, spokesman Nicolas Petteau said today. The company had a 505 million-euro ($653 million) net loss in the three months ended Dec. 31 versus a year-earlier profit of 139 million euros.
* THE organisation supposed to lead Scotland out of recession yesterday announced it was shedding 160 jobs.
News of the job losses at Skills Development Scotland drew consternation from opposition MSPs, who said they had come at the wrong time.
* Group chief executive officer Michael McGavick says: “The ground has shifted in the past six months for the insurance industry, the global economy, and XL. We must recognise these changes and adjust. Therefore, we will look to trim approximately 10 per cent of our global workforce this year to streamline operations to best position XL to compete effectively.
* Australia’s Novogen announced today that it will suspend its cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory programs to focus its resources on advancing its oncology business.” With the current economic climate making capital raising for extended programs difficult, Novogen is relying on its internal resources to concentrate on the expanding oncology portfolio,” the company said in a statement. Predictably, the move be accompanied by job cuts.
* Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Steel Corp., the largest U.S.- based steelmaker by sales, said it halted production at tubular- products subsidiaries in Texas, where it laid off more than 1,200 employees.
U.S. Steel Tubular Products Inc. has idled facilities in Lone Star and Bellville, Texas, and plans to resume production when demand rebounds, Courtney Boone, a company spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview. The plants make a combined 1 million metric tons of tubular products annually, Boone said.
via Bloomberg.com: U.S..
* USAA, a diversified financial services company with deep San Antonio roots, says it will relocate its Sacramento, Calif., operations and part of its Norfolk, Va., operations to San Antonio; Phoenix; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Tampa, Fla.
Mike: Have a great weekend.………….