Archive for March 13th, 2009

March 13 – Grandstanding Texas gov. rejects unemployment stimulus money – Sportsman’s Warehouse ends 2000 jobs – Roche-Genentech chops 1,500 N.J jobs – Sunoco cuts 750 salaried jobs – SAP dumps up to 2600 – Advanced Energy spins 330 layoffs

Mike:  Happy Friday the 13th to all. In these economic times it’s job loss that you have to worry about, not the black cat. Today ended up being a relatively quiet day for larger layoffs, but that’s no consolation to those who did lose their jobs this day. 

Mike: First let me say that I find most elected Democrats spineless worms and most elected Republicans hypocritical buffoons, so this isn’t a slam about a party. And please don’t sic Rush on me, since I am merely a humble blogger trying to bring my readers some news.

The following is a rather lengthy rant against a grandstanding governor that finds it politically advantageous to deny expanded unemployment benefits for the citizens he governs even though unemployment is rising and the state’s unemployment funding is running low. Oh, and let me not forget that his state has the highest number of homeless children in the country, which is rising due to unemployment!

The stories below show just how confused is TX governor, Rick Perry. Seems that Mr. Perry doesn’t want the extra unemployment benefits that are part of the stimulus package. Yet he is gleefully accepting the remainder of the stimulus funds that will be aimed at giving businesses millions in federal dollars, but he won’t accept funds for those that were laid off by those same businesses. Many businesses will gladly use the largess of the federal funding to increase their salaries and pay bonuses to executives, but when those funds are directed to the unemployed, the governor thinks it’s a bad idea. Sure, businesses can create jobs, but unemployment benefits help those that can’t yet find a job. To see how senseless the governor’s foolish stubbornness is, see the story titled Texas ranks worst for homeless children. The TX governor doesn’t seem to see a connection between the state’s increasing number of homeless children and unemployment benefits being exhausted. I can only conclude that he’s comfortable with an increasing number of homeless children, but is damned set against a better funded unemployment package, which will likely keep more children in their home until the economy improves.

Mr. Perry will take federal money for road work, which demands that states have laws regarding seat belts and speed limits, but if the feds want to mess with unemployment he brings up the lame excuse of federal interference. Governor, take off that over-sized Stetson and take a look at how your decision to refuse improved unemployment funding affects the citizens and especially the children of your state. The bottom line is that Mr. Perry appears more concerned about a conservative business mantra than conserving the well being of children and families during this time of financial crises. Here are the stories that need to be considered, Mr. Perry:


texas-gov2* HOUSTON – Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday rejected $555 million in federal stimulus money that would expand state unemployment benefits, saying the money would have required the state to keep funding the expanded benefits after the stimulus money ran out. Perry, an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus bill, did accept most of the roughly $17 billion slated for Texas in the plan.

But he said the requirements attached to the federal stimulus money would require a change in the state’s definition of unemployment, expanding coverage to more people and placing more of the state’s tax burden on employers.

via Texas gov. rejects stimulus money for unemployment.


Mike: At least there are a few Texans that are thinking clearly, but it’s unfortunate that they don’t hold sway:


texas9* • Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, responded to Perry’s refusal of funds for the unemployed by saying the decision will harm Texan families.

Gov. Perry’s decision will harm many Texas families. With 26,000 Texans filing new unemployment claims each week, Texans need help now. I am amazed that Gov. Perry would put partisan interests above the interest of already unemployed Texans and those who will unfortunately lose their jobs due to the economy.”

via News 8 Austin | 24 Hour Local News | HEADLINES | Gov. Perry rejects unemployment funds.


Mike: Here we have a TX county that is seeing its unemployment rate spike to decade high levels, yet Mr. Perry is adamant about not taking federal funds for unemployment:


texas10*AUSTIN – Texas is blowing through its unemployment insurance trust fund, making a tax hike for employers almost a certainty next year, officials said Tuesday.

The state paid $64 million in benefits last week, more than twice as much as in the same week last year, Texas Workforce Commission administrators told a special House panel studying the federal stimulus package.

Larry Temple, the commission’s executive director, testified that the trust fund is expected to have just $48 million on Oct. 1, when it is required by law to have $860 million.

“We’re going to have some tax increases,” he said.

via Texas unemployment fund running low | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Dallas Business News .


Mike: And here is a little more some common sense from TX:


texas11* Political theater is being played out in Austin at the expense of people who are hurting.

Gov. Rick Perry has yet to say whether he will accept $555 million in stimulus money to assist the unemployed.

Simply put, we are about to see if ideology trumps human need. We are about to see if Texas again leaves federal money on the table, dollars other states gladly will take.

First, let’s point out why the stimulus money is there. OK, it’s self-evident. We’re facing the worst economy since the Great Depression.

via Editorial: Foolish to turn down unemployment aid.


Mike: In conclusion, it’s amazing to me that political types like Perry use the unemployed as a foil against the notion of federal intrusion into improved unemployment benefits.  Congratulations, Mr. Perry, you won that battle against the have-nots, but then again, your foe doesn’t have much of a lobby presence at the statehouse:


texas12* A new study is showing Texas is the worst in the United States when it comes to the number of homeless children. Whether layoffs or pay cuts, it seems some families just can’t seem to find a way out of financial problems.

The numbers of homeless here in Laredo is also on the rise.

According to that study, 5 percent of children living in Texas are homeless and even local shelters are beginning to see more families looking for help.

via Bethany House full as Texas ranks worst for homeless children | KGNS | Local .



Ben Sargent - Mar 14

Ben Sargent - Mar 14



Mike: I think Colbert has the right idea: )


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* Larger llayoff announcements and important economic reports:



Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News


* Meanwhile, last week Google just announced it’s stepping up its free Google Health medical records service, which launched in May, by allowing patients to share records with friends and family. Records include everything from lab test results to prescriptions. Additionally, Google also just revealed that it’s pairing up with fellow tech powerhouse, IBM, for a software that enables people, like diabetes patients, to transfer data from glucose meters and other personal-health monitoring products directly to their Google Health records.

via Google, Microsoft, IBM…and Now Wal-Mart: Which Will Build the Killer App for Digital Medical Records? | the ad verse effect | Fast Company.


apple13* The iPhone 3.0 countdown is officially on: Apple has announced plans to reveal the next generation of its iPhone operating system at a media event next Tuesday. While the company’s keeping up its usual wall of mystique, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most discussed features users want to see. I’m no psychic, but some of these seem to be shoo-ins for inclusion — and maybe the St. Patrick’s Day unveiling will bring a little Irish-style luck for your favorite feature.

via Apple’s iPhone 3.0: 10 Features That Might Make the Cut – PC World.


* At least 200 people. That’s the best gauge of the depth of IBM’s secretive mass layoff at the Essex Junction microelectronics plant announced at the end of January.


General Economic News


* U.S. exports of goods and services fell 5.7 percent from December to the lowest since September 2006 and imports tumbled 6.7 percent to lowest since March 2005.
* The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its preliminary index reading of confidence for March increased to 56.6 from 56.3 in February. That beat economists’ expectations for a reading of 55.0.


* Uncle Sam’s vaunted reputation as a boss who offers secure jobs to his workers is taking a hit from an Internal Revenue Service decision to lay off more than 1,400 employees, even as it plans 1,000 additional hires.

via Joe Davidson – Lawmakers Ask IRS to Postpone 1,400 Planned Job Cuts –



Tom Toles - Mar 13

Tom Toles - Mar 13


* OTTAWA, March 13 (Reuters) – Canada’s economy lost more jobs than expected in February as the global downturn triggered widespread layoffs, another sign the country’s recession may be more severe than many previously thought.

Statistics Canada said net job losses totaled 82,600 in the month, compared with forecasts for a decline of 52,500. It was the fourth straight month of declines.

via UPDATE 2-Canada Feb job losses more severe than forecast | Reuters .


* WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Independent stores and local businesses are closing up shop across the United States as the recession hits American cities’ main streets, the National League of Cities reported on Thursday.

Calling the trend a “retail meltdown,” the group said that in three out of five cities at least one local retailer has shut down in the past year.

via Small businesses hit by retail meltdown: survey | Small Business | Reuters .


Municipal News


More than 400 teachers, counselors and special-program instructors will receive pink slips this week as the Capistrano Unified School District grapples with a $25 million budget shortfall for 2009-2010.


* The school board voted Wednesday to approve reduction-in-force layoffs for two program assistants, seven part-time teachers and nine full-time teachers. A community and business liaison was also not rehired for next year due to uncertain state and federal funding.

via | News | District 87 to lay off more than a dozen workers.


* Easterwood estimated that 12 to 15 state parks employees were laid off during the winter. The system is delaying hiring spring and summer seasonal help for as long as possible, he said. Very few full-time positions are being approved.

via Alabama state parks cut back hours of operation, jobs in economic crunch – Breaking News from The Birmingham News –


* TAMPA – The city plans to lay off another 20 employees over the next several months.

via City To Cut 20 Workers In Construction Division.


* NEWTON – Catawba County is the newest victim of the recession as it is forced to eliminate 26 jobs to balance its budget.


US and some Canada News


sportsmans-ware4* Sportsman’s Warehouse will shutter 23 of its stores nationwide — including all three of its Minnesota outlets — as the Midvale, Utah-based retailer struggles to reduce debt.

Stores in Woodbury, Coon Rapids and St. Cloud will close in the next 60 days after completing liquidation sales, according to Stu Utgaard, chairman. About 200 employees in Minnesota will lose their jobs out of about 2,000 job cuts companywide, he said.

via Sportsman’s Warehouse closing all 3 Minn. outlets .


sportsmans-ware5Sportsman’s Warehouse of Utah will liquidate its Rogers store and 22 others and intends to sell 15 more stores to a Canadian cooperative, according to a notice posted on the company’s Web site late Tuesday.

via :: Northwest Arkansas’ News Source.


roche* The Roche takeover of Genentech will cost 1,500 jobs in New Jersey as sales and marketing positions are axed there. R&D staff look more secure, according to the Star-Ledger. The company will also change its name to Genentech.


sunoco1* Sunoco Inc. announced today that it will reduce its salaried workforce by approximately 750 positions in 2009, which represents about 20 percent of the workforce, in a move expected to save more than $300 million by year-end 2009.

via Sunoco to cut 20% of salaried jobs | Philadelphia Inquirer | 03/13/2009.


freightliner1* In January, the company said it would cut over 2,100 jobs due to sagging sales. The cuts will come from plants in Mount Holly — some 600 people — and Gastonia — some 275 people — in Gaston County and from the plant in the town of Cleveland – some 1,300 people — in Rowan County.


wind2* More layoffs plagued Fort Collins today as Advanced Energy Industries Inc. announced it will be cutting 330 employees worldwide, which equates to 22 percent of its workforce.

Of that 330, 104 employees in Colorado will be losing their jobs. There are still 450 employees working locally for AE, said Lawrence Firestone, AE CEO.

via Advanced Energy announces layoffs, pay cuts and shutdowns | | The Coloradoan,.


united-technologies4* NEW YORK – United Technologies Corp. will cut about 1,500 jobs in Connecticut in 2009, or about 6 percent of its workforce in the state, Chief Executive Louis Chênevert said in an interview Thursday.

via UTC To Cut 1,500 Connecticut Jobs, Mostly White Collar —


* Boston College is freezing some salaries and eliminating some administrative positions after its endowment dropped by 25 percent in the past six months, according to a letter by the college’s President William P. Leahy.

Non-salary operating expenses will be cut by 2 percent. An unspecified number of open administrative jobs will be cut, which is expected to generate about $1.5 million in savings, the letter to the college community said.

via Boston College caps pay, cuts jobs despite tuition hike – Boston Business Journal: .


* DENVER – The owner of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and the Pepsi Center has announced it is laying off workers because of the economic downturn.

Kroenke Sports Enterprises executive vice president Paul Andrews wouldn’t reveal the number of employees let go because Kroenke Sports is a private company.

via Kroenke Sports announces layoffs | Nation & World Updates | Wichita Eagle.


* PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) – PC Connection has laid off more than 60 workers in New Hampshire, citing poor sales since the economic downturn.

via WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-PC Connection lays off NH workers.


* GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) — Viking Range Corp. has laid off 87 more employees, bringing the total since April to 213.

Wednesday’s layoffs were the fourth round for the maker of upscale kitchen appliances since last April. The company let 57 workers go last month.

via Viking Range Corp. lays off 87 more employees, bringing total to 213 since last April – WREG.


newspaper15*  FARGO, N.D. – The Forum says it is eliminating 25 more full-time jobs and the Grand Forks Herald is cutting eight.


* In recent months, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has shuttered a third of its 23 retail stores around the country, including outlets in Century City and Pasadena, citing faltering revenue amid the nation’s economic crisis. Today the museum announced additional cuts in full- and part-time merchandising staff, bringing the total positions lost to 127.


gavel13* Law firm Blank Rome said Thursday it has laid off 27 associates and 52 support staff.


gavel12* Sidley Austin, one of Chicago’s top-tier law firms, laid off 89 lawyers and 140 staff employees in its U.S. offices Thursday, according to an internal firm memo the Tribune obtained.

via Sidley Austin lays off 89 lawyers, 140 staff in U.S. —


* An Auburn auto-parts manufacturer says it’s laying off 152 workers.  That’s half of Formed Fiber Technologies workforce, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal.

via Auburn Auto Parts Plant Lays off Half its Workforce – 3/12/09 4:55 PM EST.


* Sea Ray was hit again by the struggling economy on Thursday. The Knoxville plant laid off 70 employees, and the Riverview plant let go another 70 people, according to Brunswick, Inc. spokesman Dan Kubera.

The watercraft company did file warn notices with the state. The notices, which were filed Feb. 2, said the Riverview layoffs began March 9 and end May 30. Three-hundred workers would be affected. Sea Ray Vonore layoffs began Jan. 9 and affect 118 employees.

via | Knoxville, TN | Sea Ray lays off 140 employees.


* Longtime Simpson College Sports Information Director Matt Turk was one of three Simpson employees laid off recently in what officials called a staff reorganization.

College officials do not plan to fill the sports information director position. Two additional full-time employees were laid off in the past two weeks, but their positions will be replaced, said Simpson College President John Byrd.

via Three laid off in Simpson reorganization | | The Des Moines Register.


* lso, 32 full- and part-time positions will be eliminated when the childcare center at St. Vincent — which provides service to 60 families of employees or past employees — merges with a similar center at sister hospital St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center after the school year ends.

via St. Vincent eliminates 32 jobs with child-care center merger | | Green Bay Press-Gazette.


* Fry’s Food Stores laid off about 90 Arizona grocery workers Thursday in response to the deepening economic recession.

via Fry’s Food lays off 90 workers in Ariz..


us-steel5* U.S. Steel said today it is idling more production at its Clairton coke plant, citing continuing weak demand. The company did not say how many workers will be laid off.

The move follows last week’s announcement that about 1,500 workers at two of the steel producer’s Canadian mills would be laid off.

via U.S. Steel lays off more workers in Clairton.


big-bird2* You know times are tough when Big Bird and Cookie Monster can’t catch a break.  Sesame Workshop, the non-profit producers of Sesame Street and other children’s programs will be eliminating 67 of its 355 staff positions, the New York based company announced today.



Mike Luckovich - Mar 12

Mike Luckovich - Mar 12


* ELLUS Health Inc. (TSX: BLU) disclosed that it has reduced its workforce by approximately 45%, effective immediately. The company did not disclose the number of employees that were laid off. As at December 31, 2007, BELLUS employed 170 people.

via :: BELLUS Health Announces Layoffs.


The 15 to 20 people who will lose their jobs, were notified of the decision two weeks ago.

via Capital News 9 | 24 Hour Local News | HEADLINES | Levonian Brothers plant closing down .


*  Roche may shed more than 400 jobs next year at its Nutley office campus in the wake of its announced $47 billion acquisition of Genentech, a gene-based drug company.

via $47B Roche acquisition will lead to 400 job cuts in Nutley –


* A German-based maker of juke boxes and vending machine equipment has announced it is closing its Gurnee, Ill. plant and shifting operations to Trumann, the American home of Baldwin Piano.

via Trumann Democrat: Story: Baldwin to relocate Wurlitzer factory to Trumann facility.


* Geiger International Inc., a Lake Mills manufacturer of office sofas and chairs, plans to lay off 34 employees by May 11.

via Office furniture maker Geiger to cut jobs – The Business Journal of Milwaukee: .


pill*  The company, which cut about 90 positions, said the restructuring would allow the company to operate for the next two years without additional equity financing.

via UPDATE 1-Synta cuts 40 pct of jobs | Industries | Healthcare | Reuters .


* A company spokesman says the layoffs were made in an effort to manage costs and remain competitive in today’s market.  Employees were informed of the layoffs Wednesday.  There are currently 465 employees working at the Youngstown facility.

via V & M Layoffs – 33 News – We Believe in This Valley .


* The Forum, facing deteriorating economic conditions, announced Thursday the elimination of the equivalent of 25 full-time positions.

via The Forum announces staff cuts | INFORUM | Fargo, ND .


* Imperium Renewables, the Seattle-based biodiesel producer, has laid off 24 employees, a majority of the staff at its large Grays Harbor plant.

via Business & Technology | Imperium Renewables cuts 24 workers | Seattle Times Newspaper.


* With increasing budget pressure from the state of Georgia, Columbus State University eliminated 16.5 staff positions this week, laying off 12 employees.

via | 03/13/2009 | Columbus State University slashes 16.5 staff positions .


* Wilson Memorial Hospital in Sidney is cutting 23 positions from its staff, hospital officials announced.

via Sidney hospital cutting staff – Dayton Business Journal: .


* Canada’s Bellus Health–formerly known as Neurochem–is cutting its staff by 40 percent.

via Bellus cuts 40% of workforce – FierceBiotech.


* REDLANDS, Calif.—The Hershey Co. is closing down its Redlands distribution center and moving to Utah.

About 90 local jobs will be lost.

via 90 jobs lost with Hershey Redlands move to Utah – San Jose Mercury News.


* Another 19 jobs have been eliminated at HealthNow Inc., the Buffalo-based parent company of BlueCross BlueShield of WNY.

via More job losses at HealthNow – Business First of Buffalo: .


* BRADENTON — A local boat supplier is cutting 24 jobs because of economic conditions affecting the marine industry.

Taylor Made Systems, a manufacturer of windshields and canvas products for boat builders, notified the state Thursday that it would be laying off one-fourth of its work force.

via Local boat supplier cutting 24 jobs – Business –


International News


* Zurich-based Panalpina said it would cut between 1,400 and 1,600 jobs across all operations in response to “clearly declining freight volumes caused by the current financial and economic crisis.

via Panalpina Net Income Tumbles Almost 50 Percent | Journal of Commerce.


* The workforce will be reduced to 1,800 from 2,600 as large parts of the software are already developed, according to the newspaper. SAP will transfer most of the programmers to its flagship project Business Suite, the FTD said.


* ANZ has confirmed it will cut 500 jobs, mostly from its Melbourne operations, and move them to India by the end of the year.

via ANZ to cut 500 jobs, send them to India – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).


* RECRUITMENT firm Michael Page International has become the latest recruitment company to slash staff in the deepening economic crisis, axing 50 jobs and warning that more could follow.

via Leading recruitment company axes 50 jobs | The Australian.


* NCRI – 2,000 part-time workers were laid-off in Rolling and Pipes Mill Corporation (ARPCO) in the southwestern city of Ahwaz.

via 2,000 workers laid-off in Ahwaz Rolling and Pipes Mill Corporation in Iran – National Council of Resistance of Iran – Foreign Affairs Committee.


gavel11* Baker & McKenzie’s London office has launched a formal redundancy consultation that will see the loss of between 60 and 85 jobs.

via – Baker & McKenzie to Cut up to 85 Jobs From London Office .


* Forty-five jobs have been lost with the closure of a BMW car dealership in Limerick.

via 45 jobs lost at Limerick BMW dealership – Ireland, Breaking News –


* In total, 41 people have been made redundant at the Wester Gourdie firm.

via BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Tayside and Central | Jobs go as Texol shuts its doors.


* BANGALORE: Blackstone-owned Gokaldas Exports, which reported its first ever loss in the last quarter, has unleashed a fresh restructuring

exercise slashing 3,000 jobs and shutting three of its units in Bangalore.

via Gokaldas shuts units, cuts jobs– Jobs-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times.


* Up to 13 warehouse staff will be axed after more than 70 per cent turned down a 34-hour working week in a ballot.


Hiring News


* SeaWorld, Aquatica and Discovery Cove said Wednesday they are aggressively hiring 450 people for the Spring Break season, which runs from April 4 through April 19.

via SeaWorld, Aquatica, Discovery Cove Hiring 450 Seasonal Workers – Central Florida News 13.


* The Johns Creek and Sandy Springs joint 911 Center is scheduled to be fully operational in late summer. As part of the start-up process, the center is focusing on hiring 53 full time employees.

via Johns Creek 911 Center begins hiring process .


* A job fair promising a paycheck for 100 people in nearby LaGrange, Ga., is shaping up to be a hot draw.

Cellular phone company T-Mobile will be recruiting Monday and Tuesday to fill positions at its national returns center.

via | 03/12/2009 | T-Mobile hiring 100 in LaGrange .


* The Internal Revenue Service is now accepting applications locally for qualified revenue agents to work in the Large and Mid-Size Business Division’s Toledo and Lima offices.

Available positions include Audit Team Members who conduct tax examinations of large and mid-sized corporations.  The starting salary range for these positions is from $67,613 to $80,402 depending upon education and experience.

via Work for the ‘tax man’; IRS hiring in Toledo, Lima : News : WNWO NBC24 .


* Exodus Machines, Inc. promises to create 21 jobs in the next few months, growing to 82 full-time employees within five years. Workers are expected to average about $25 per hour with benefits.


Mike: Today ended up being a relatively quiet day for larger layoffs, but that’s no consolation to those who did lose their jobs this day. After a busy week, I need a laugh. I hope you all have a fine weekend……………..



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Mike: And for you March Madness fans, like myself, here is what we may be able to see in the future :)

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