Timesizing® Associates - HOMEPAGE

Downsizings, Jan. 16-31, 2002
[Commentary] ©2002 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 117, Harvard Square, Cambridge MA 02238 USA (617) 623-8080

1/31/2002  2 downsizings, totaling 1,250 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in (NYT) NY Times & (BG) Boston Globe -

  1. Computer [disk] part maker to cut 1,250 jobs after loss, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    The Read-Rite Corp. [will] lay off 1,250 workers in the U.S. and Thailand, an 11% reduction, after posting a quarterly loss...of $4.49m, or 4 cents a share in trhe period ended Dec. 31, Q1 of its fiscal year.... Sales fell 28%..\.. The company will have about 10,000 workers after the reduction....

  2. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, NYT, C4.
    ...Heidelberg, Germany, the world's largest maker of printing machinery [will] close a factory in Dayton, Ohio and transfer production to Durham, NH to save costs.
    [Unspecified Ohio jobcuts.]

1/30/2002  8 downsizings, totaling 1,926 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in (NYT) NY Times & (BG) Boston Globe -
  1. Japan: Fujitsu expects loss, Reuters via NYT, W1.
    One of Japan's leading chip makers...lowered its earning forecasts as the slump in global demand for semiconductors and telecommunications equipment chews into profits.... The company, which will also lose money on an operating basis for the first time ever, is considering whether to eliminate 1,000 jobs on top of the 21,000 layoffs already planned....
    [We're going to count these babies because they're being sooo specific about them.]

  2. Black & Decker will move some operations overseas, Reuters via NYT, C5.
    The power tool maker...plans to move some power tool and hardware operations to Mexico, China and Central Europe...reducing its workforce by about 2% [because of] a Q4 loss, including a charge of nearly $100m for the restructuring.
    [Brilliant! - they're restructuring because of the loss and they've got a big chunk of loss because they're restructuring. With this kind of reasoning, ANY company can argue itself into extinction.]
    Black & Decker [will] cut 2,400 jobs in the U.S. and England and rpelace about 1,900 of those at lower-cost facilities in Mexico, China and the Czech Republic.
    [Lower-cost and lower-wage. Kinda makes you wonder how many guys are gonna be left to buy Black & Decker tools. Net 2400-1900= 500 jobcuts in higher-wage US and UK. If 2400 jobcuts are 2% of the workforce, then 500 jobcuts are (2%/2400)x500= 0.4166% of the workforce.]

  3. Staples lays off 326 employees, by Chris Reidy, BG, C2.
    ...The office supply retailer..\..which in November reported its first profit increase in 7 quarters thanks in part to cost-containment...laid off [some] of its worldwide workforce of 51,000. At [its] Framingham MA HQ, 115 of 2,400 workers lost their jobs, the first HQ layoff in Staple's 15-year history. Pink-slipped workers have been offered a fair severance package, a company spokeswoman said....
    [Well, of course she would say that but what, we wonder, do the employees say?]
    Staples should end fiscal 2002 with 90 more stores than the roughly 1,400 it operates now. New stores and increases in the company's sales force should add about 1,200 jobs over the next year, she said.
    [Let us know if and when forecasts become reality.]

  4. Elcor Corp., NYT, C%.
    ...Dallas, a maker of roofing shingles and coatings for locomotive engine parts, [will] lay off about 80 employees when its Cybershield unit shuts a Georgia plant and moves production to its facility in Lufkin, Texas. Some workers will be allowed to move to the plant in Texas.
    ["Oh please PLEASE, corporate masters, allow me to pay a fortune in moving costs and leave all my friends to move from Georgia to Texas!"]

  5. More layoffs at Fallon Worldwide, by Jim Rutenberg, NYT, C4.
    ...Minneapolis part of the Publicis Groupe...laid off 20 workers, or 30% of the employees in its New York office, including all but one creative staff member....

  6. Japanese trading company plans sharp cutbacks, by Ken Belson, NYT, W1.
    TOKYO...- By turning to drastic measures to salvage some sort of future for itself, the Nissho Iwai Corp. may have marked a crucial watershed [yester]day in the evolution of corporate Japan....
    [Don't count on it. Insofar as these drastic measures include downsizing, there's no future at all in them.]
    ...The company hopes to slash its interest-bearing debt over the next 3 years by 45% to $9.7B by selling about 2/5 of its 540 subsidiaries and affiliates...
    [540 subsidiaries and affiliates? Now there's makework on the scale of Enron's 3000 holding companies!]
    ...and by eliminating more than one-quarter of its workforce....
    [Unspecified jobcuts (not to mention the further damage on Japan's consumer base).]

  7. France: loss for chemical maker, by Kerry Shaw, NYT, W1.
    Shares of Rhodia, France's largest specialty chemical maker, fell 2.7% after the company announced a Q4 loss.... The CEO, Jean-Pierre Tirouflet, said in a news conference that Rhodia would continue cost-cutting measures like reducing the staff by 6% and closing 19 sites, Bloomberg News reported.
    [Unspecified jobcuts. Funny how many CEOs can remain how clueless even when their countrymen are talking about cutting hours not jobs - France has cut to a 35-hour workweek to save existing hjobs and create new ones, and Japanese government, business and labor (story above) has for months been talking about sharing the limited work to salvage domestic demand.]

  8. New Mexico: Tribal school closing, by Mindy Sink, NYT, A18.
    The Native American Preparatory School will close for at least one academic year. The school, which enrolls 60 students from more than 30 tribes, has been struggling financially and is selling its main campus, 1,600 acres in Rowe NM. The school [is] 7 years old....
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

1/29/2002  5 downsizings, totaling 2,089 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in (NYT) NY Times & (BG) Boston Globe -
  1. Toys 'R' Us plans to lay off 1,900 and close 64 stores, by Constance Hays, NYT, C1.
    ...and move its administrative offices into a single location in New Jersey \in\ trying to compete more forcefully against Wal-Mart without battling it on price.... The [actions] will affect 1,350 store workers and 550 workers in the company's headquarters....

  2. Hospital-equipment maker cut 189 jobs, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    Graham-Field Health Products Inc., a maker of hospital beds and wheelchairs [closed] its Bay Shore NY factory.... Graham-Field, which is based in Atlanta, sought bankruptcy...in Dec/99 after 5 consecutive quarters of losses.

  3. 130 Fashion Bugs scheduled for closing, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    Charming Shoppes...based in Bensalem, Pa..\..which operates Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant clothing stores, is [also] closing...its Added Dimensions/Answer chain and its 77 stores....
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

  4. Japan's jobless rate hits record high, Bloomberg via BG, C2.
    ...Tokyo Electric Power Co....and other companies [will] eliminate thousands of jobs to ride out the 3rd recession in a decade....
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

  5. Japan's jobless rate hits record high, Bloomberg via BG, C2.
    ...Tobu Railway and other companies [will] eliminate thousands of jobs to ride out the 3rd recession in a decade....
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

1/26/2002  4 downsizings, totaling 1,400 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in (NYT) NY Times & (BG) Boston Globe -
  1. Tyson Foods will close 3 plants and lay off 1,100, Bloomberg via NYT, B7.
    ...at least...as the company consolidates operations after its purchase of IBP Inc....
    [Again, the lethal takeover-downsizing connection.]
    Tyson will close IBP meat plants in Detroit and Grand Rapids, Mich., on Mar. 15.... On Apr.1, it will close an administrative office in Farmington Hills, Mich. The 3 locations employ about 1,100. The company will also close its DFG Foods plant and office in Chicago, which employs about 200. Production at DFG...will be shifted to Tyson's Chicago culinary foods plant, where DFG workers will be offered positions....

  2. Watertown plant to shut, Bloomberg via BG, C1.
    Amid slumping sales growth...Irvine, Calif.-based Microsemi..\..maker of semiconductors for computers and cellular phones...will close...the 16,000-sq-ft Massachusetts plant, which employed about 300 workers at the end of last year....

  3. Payless ShoeSource to close some shoe stores and take a charge, Reuters via NYT, B7.
    ...A leading shoe retailer [will] close 104 stores...in a restructuring aimed at cutting costs.... The retailer, which is based in Topeka, Kan..\..currently operates 4,974 stores....
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

  4. Nucor to buy idled steel mill from Trico, Bloomberg via NYT, B7.
    ...A steel maker received approval to buy the Trico Steel Co.'s idled steel mill...which makes steel sheet,.\..in Decatur, Ala., for $120m.... Trico, a joint venture between the LTV Corp., Sumitomo Metal Industries and the Corus Group, filed for bankruptcy protection in March.... The mill can make 1.9m tons of steel a year....
    [Unspecified jobcuts. But these people will probably be rehired now that Nucor, the nation's most profitable surviving steel company, has bought the bankrupted mill, and those employees will have job security because Nucor has the most flexible corporate design in the world today and is an experienced timesizer. See our working models page.]

1/25/2002  5 downsizings, totaling 9,734 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in (NYT) NY Times & (BG) Boston Globe -
  1. Mining giant set to depart from Zambia - Nation will lose thousands of jobs, by Henri Cauvin, NYT, W1.
    Anglo American...announced today that it was pulling out of Zambia, where the company has been struggling to turn around the crumbling mines it acquired from the state 22 months ago. The news is a staggering blow to Zambia, which was already one of the world's poorest countries and now faces the prospect of thousands of lost jobs in its most important industry....
    ["Thousands"? Let's conservatively estimate that at 3,000 lost jobs.]

  2. Gateway announces cutbacks, by Chris Gaither, NYT, C2.
    ...The No. 4 personal computer maker in the U.S..., based in San Diego, \will\ eliminate 16% of its workforce and close 19 [of its 296] Gateway Country stores...including 10 in California and one on Staten Is..\..after sales slumped in Q4.... Gateway [will] cut 2,250 of its 14,000 jobs [16%]....

  3. 2 Japanese insurance giants will merge - An industry troubled by population changes and poor investment returns, by Ken Belson, NYT, W1.
    ...Meiji Life and Yasuda Mutual Life [will] creat[e] Japan's 3rd-larglest life insurer, in a move to cut costs and bolster returns at a time when the Japanese economy is sour and interest rates are near zero. ...The population is aging, leading to rising payouts and falling premium revenue - because many in-force policies are paid up and fewer young people are coming along to buy new policies....
    [Ah, business is so often structured like a pyramid scheme, compulsively depended on growth instead of flexible and adaptible.]
    The 2 companies...plan to eliminate about 2,000 of their nearly 50,000 salesmen as they grapple with the core of their distribution network: armies of middle-aged housewives who sell policies door-to-door....
    [Thus limiting their markets further. Again the lethal merger-downsizing connection.]

  4. Profit at SBC declined 4% in 4th quarter, Bloomberg via NYT, C14.
    SBC Communications said 4th-quarter profit fell nearly 4% on lower sales and the cost of eliminating 5,000 jobs.... SBC eliminated jobs in the 4th quarter through layoffs and attrition. The CFO, Randall Stephenson, said that thousands more would be trimmed in the next year....
    [On 3/3/2001 #1 we noted unspecified SBC jobcuts. On 10/23/2001 #2 we counted 3,000. That means we must now count 5000-3000= 2,000 jobcuts, plus unspecified more.]

  5. Short-staffed, editorial, BG, A22.
    It's pink-slip season at [Massachusetts]'s human service agencies. To cope with deep cuts in the current budget, the state's departments of welfare, mental health, and mental retardation are laying off hundreds of staff people....
    [So the total is, 160+??+20+116+188= 484 jobcuts + unspecified.]
    ...All three departments expect some relief from voluntary early retirements. [However,] even in good financial times, human service agencies are strapped. Homeless shelters overflow, there are not enough places for mentally ill children, and waiting lists clog the Dept. of Mental Retardation. In bleak financial times, agencies will struggle even more.... Massachusetts should be leading the way in human services, not limping along.
    [This will not happen until we either restore arbitrary, high graduated income taxes or institute market-oriented timesizing to engage market forces in providing plenty of well-paying jobs at the shorter-hours levels appropriate to our rising levels of worksaving technology.]
    [Follow-up: "Troubled families hit by DSS cuts - Social workers fear larger caseloads add to risks for all," by Farah Stockman, 2/24/2002 BG, B1, includes the photo caption, "For DSS caseworker Sara Flynn, one of 285 laid-off social workers, saying goodbye to clients is a difficult task."]
    [Further follow-up: "Cheating on children," editorial, 2/25/2002 BG, A14, includes the statement, "But because the state budget is shriveling..\..the Dept. of Social Services {DSS} is laying off 211 social workers and 75 administrative staff." We suspect the 285 figure above is an approximation of this 211+75= 286, though goodness knows how this relates to the 160+??+20+116+188= 484 in the original story. But where does the 286 instead of 285 come from, you ask? -]
    [Even further follow-up: "Lost in translation: Layoffs fall heavily on DSS's bilingual workers," by Cindy Rodriguez, 2/25/2002 BG, B1, states, "At a time when the state's caseload is steadily rising, the state budget crisis is forcing DSS to lay off 212 social workers to save $3.5m." Oy, vut a fluid situation. We're not going to count any more DSS layoffs until we're sure there are more.]

1/24/2002  8 downsizings, totaling 6,885 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in (NYT) NY Times & (BG) Boston Globe -
  1. Germany: Siemens posts profit, Bloomberg via NYT, W1.
    ...The German electronics and engineering company...based in Munich..\..posted its first profit in 3 quarters and said it might cut more jobs in addition to the 20,000 already announced, as demand for phone networks falls....
    [If it does cut more jobs, it will be unnecessarily speeding the fall in demand for phone networks. It should be trimming hours, not jobs, and maintaining pay - since it now has the profits to do so. We have only caught 17,000 jobcuts [10/16/2001 #1] of the "20,000 already announced," so we must now count the remaining 20k-17k= 3,000 jobcuts. Assuming that brings their workforce down from 453,000 to 450,000, the 3000 cuts represent a 0.666666% cut which could easily and unnoticeably have been handled by a tiny trimming (3 minutes a day) in the corporate workweek.]

  2. Procter & Gamble plans to cut 1,400 jobs, AP via NYT, C4.
    ...The consumer products company \plans\ to cut about 1,400 jobs as [it] integrates the recently acquired Clairol haircare products business into its operations. P&G, which is based in Cincinnati and manufactures consumer products like Tide detergent, Crest toothpaste and Pampers diapers said the cuts were all to be from Clairol's ranks and represent 35% of Clairol's 4,000 employees. P&G told employees Tuesday that it would cut 460 nonmanufacturing jobs by June from the 710 workers at the Clairol headquarters in Stamford, Conn. The cuts will come across all areas, including marketing, finance, sales and R&D.... An additional 165 jobs will be cut elsewhere in the U.S. and 815 overseas.
    [Ah, 460+165+815= 1,440 jobcuts, not just 1400, and we don't want to make the same mistake as we made for Caterpillar in Dec. (see #7 below).]

  3. GE Transportation Systems cuts, AP via BG, E2.
    ...The Erie, Pa.-based..\..locomotive maker..\..will cut about 1,100 jobs, including 900 at [its] operations in Erie...because of a continuing decline in orders for locomotives. ...Orders dropped from 911 [fateful number] in 1999 to 550 last year....

  4. More layoffs seen for New Jersey workers - Employees wonder if they will be victims of a budget gap, by David Kocieniewski, NYT, A28.
    TRENTON...- As New Jersey officials sent out layoff notices to 600 state employees [yester]day, top advisors to Gov. James E. McGreevey said that the administration expected to cut hundreds of additional jobs this year to close the state's budget gap....

  5. Xerox to eliminate about 530 jobs in Rochester area, AP via NYT, C4.
    ...of its 11,500 jobs in [that] region in March as part of an overhaul begun 15 months ago. The company, based in Stamford, Conn., said yesterday that about 230 unionized workers would lose their jobs on March 17 and that 300 office, engineering and other white-collar employees would be laid off a week later. Xerox has been scrambling since 2000 to cope with competition, sluggish sales and a sharp drop in its stock price. The company has cut 11,000 jobs since October 2000....

  6. L.L. Bean layoffs, AP via BG, E7.
    ...Freeport, Maine-based...mail-order retailer laid off 175 employees as part of its reorganization. The job cuts were the culmination of a 3-year review to streamline and eliminate redundant positions. Most layoffs were in the merchandising and marketing divisions. The layoffs were the first at [LL Bean] since 1995, when about 350 positions were eliminated.
    [You'd think a company in the backwoods would have more sense than to spend 3 years and untold $$$ pursuing a policy of firing (and hiring in the interval, unmentioned) rather than simply studying cross-training and automatically adjusting the workweek to the workflow. We wouldn't be surprised to read that a gun-toting Main-iac layoffee goes back and blows a bunch of 'em away.]

  7. Caterpillar reports 37% decline in profit, AP via NYT, C2.
    PEORIA, Ill. - ...in Q4 profit [yester]day, citing expenses for cost-cutting measures.... Profit for the quarter, which ended Dec. 31, was $167m...down...from $264m...in the comparable period for 2000.... Caterpillar said the restructuring resulted in an impact of about $153m in one-time expenses, including the sale of a tractor line, the costs of plant closings and consolidations, and charges associated with reducing its workforce....
    [Another company in profit yet nevertheless inducing recession by cutting our consumer base by cutting its workforce. Another corporate slow-suicide. No specifics are given here about workforce reductions, but we noticed that in our one article on Caterpillar last year (12/22 #1), we listed 520+420= 940 layoffs but only counted the rounded 900 in the headline, so we'll now count the extra 940-900= 40 jobcuts.]

  8. Morgan Stanley offers buyouts - Wall Street firm trimming costs, Reuters via BG, E2.
    NEW YORK - ...A leading Wall Street firm has offered buyout packages to some of its older employees to help trim costs.... Morgan Stanley offered some workers - those below the level of managing director and over the age of 50 - packages worth up to one year's salary and a portion of their 2001 bonus....
    [Unspecified lost jobs. Get rid of the whole focus on worklife and retirement and you get rid of all this functionally irrelevant fixation on age - rampant agism in the workplace and not only in the job market. (Job-age alias seniority is relevant because of the principle of "practice makes perfect.") Do we really want to live longer and explore the long-term human dream of immortality? Then we must lose agism (age per person as distinct from age per job alias time with the company alias seniority), and that means replacing the agist concept of retirement with the age-neutral concept of temporary or permanent disability. And then concentrate on making all "permanent" disabilities temporary - if we can do it for Stephen Hawking we can do it for anybody. And intelligence has nothing to do with it. As long as donkeys perform valuable work in many economies, we can find or design valuable work for any human being, however retarded. Even comatose people can make a contribution as research subjects. And as free up the workweek from the briarpatch of outdated regulations and prejudices that has kept it frozen at its 1940 level for over the last two generations, we can adjust it downward to where it should be for our rising levels of technology, thus making work less invasive and onerous for all of us, including the comatose.]
    The payouts were based on a sliding scale, ranging from 6 months' salary to a full year, depending on how long the person had worked at the firm.... The staffers had to decide on the offer late last year....and those who agreed will leave by the end of January.
    Wall Street firms, mired in a slump amid a dearth of investment banking activity, have been cutting costs for more than a year....
    [It's their own damn fault. Their precious "investment banking activity," with all its takeovers, mergers and acquisitions and ensuing downsizings, CAUSED this slump. They are worse than parasites. They're dumb parasites, a biological term for parasites that kill their host (and thereby, kill themselves).]

1/23/2002  3 downsizings, totaling 1,437 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in (NYT) NY Times & (BG) Boston Globe -
  1. Eaton will cut 1,100 jobs and forecasts slump in profit, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...A leading maker of hydraulic equipment [cited] slumping demand for industrial and aerospace products [and] declining sales of truck parts and electrical controls. The job cuts represent about 2.2% of the workforce of about 49,000 and follow the elimination of about 1,550 jobs last year.... [1,600, according to our 11/15/2001 #8 story.]

  2. Federated Department Stores Inc., NYT, C4.
    ...Cincinnati, operator of Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Rich's and Lazarus stores [will] close 2 Macy's stores, one in Augusta Ga, and the other in Birmingham, Ala., and eliminate 337 jobs.
    [Compare 1/05/2002 #3.]

  3. Microsoft shuts TV unit, by Jennifer Lee, NYT, C4.
    ...its troubled UltimateTV division, a competitor to TiVo....
    [Unspecified lost jobs.]
1/21/2002  3 weekend downsizing reports, totaling 1,958 net jobcuts + unspecified, cited in (NYT) NY Times & (BG) Boston Globe -
  1. Thomaston, Ga., Journal - Mill town mourns its mill, then reinvents itself, by David Firestone, NYT, A10.
    The vast mills ran ceaselessly for a hundred years here.... And then one day last June, Thomaston Mills closed. Some employees had seen it coming in the worried whispers of managers; they knew the American textile industry was losing the struggle against the low-cost imports; they knew the payroll had shrunk to 1,400 at the end from 6,000 in the 1940's. But the bankruptcy notice still came as a slap to most workers and to the unprepared town of 9,400 that had essentially been created by a single company....
    The town will never again be able to rely on a single paternalistic employer like Thomaston Mills, but several smaller textile companies are braving the recession and buying pieces of the silent mill buildings. By next year, they expect to employ almost half of those who were laid off....
    For months, the state's economic development department has put reviving Thomaston at the top of its list. The effort paid off when 3 companies agreed to move into parts of the mill, planning to employ about 600 people in the next two years making sheets, towels and clothing.
    [OK, 1400 down and 600 back up leaves us with a net jobloss of 800.]
    1. The Zaslow family of Wincote, Pa., which also owns the industrial supply company ATD American, bought the Thomaston Mills name and has already hired about 45 former mill workers to produce sheets and pillowcases....
    2. The new Thomaston Manufacturing Co...plans to employ up to 300 people in the next two years....
    3. [Unnamed.]
    The companies say that by focusing more efficiently on a narrow specialty, they can succeed where the older mill could not. The town is learning to do the same....
    [Wait a minute. Didn't we just read that "The town will never again be able to rely on a single paternalistic employer like Thomaston Mills"? Do we detect a clash in the quest for quick success formulas? And 600 new jobs is a full 100 less than half of the 1,400 people Thomaston Mills employed at the end, and only 10% of the 6,000 its employed 60 years ago.]

  2. Nextel-IBM deal to eliminate jobs, AP via NYT, C6.
    A $1.2B deal...will put at least 700 employees of Nextel in Rutherford, NJ, out of work.
    [Again, the toxic takeover-downsizing connection, which kills both together our economic diversity-variety-variability-adaptibility-competitiveness and our consumer base-consumption-production-productivity-GDP growth-sustainability-survivability.]
    ...On Feb. 1, all workers at the Rutherford offices of Nextel, a wireless provider, will become employees of an IBM partner, TeleTech Holdings, based in Englewood, Colo.... The Nextel workers staff one of six call centers nationwide, where customer service workers and technicians answer calls from customers..\.. TeleTech operates call centers worldwide. It plans to take over Nextel's call centers and close the Rutherford office and one in Colorado..\.. Workers in Rutherford...were told on Thursday that their jobs would end by April....
    [Grrreat! Less markets, less investment, more homeless, more crime, more incarcerated. We're in the dark ages of economics and business, where economists and businesspeople just aren't putting it together - "Whaddaya mean layoffs cause economic contraction?! The job market is infinite! They'll get new jobs in no time!"]

  3. Tight budgets force states to reconsider crime and penalties, by Fox Butterfield, NYT, frontpage.
    After 3 decades of building more prisons and passing tougher sentencing laws, many states are being forced by budget deficits to close some prisons, lay off guards and consider shortening sentences. Reginald Wilkinson, the director of the Ohio Dept. of Rehab & Correction...had been ordered to cut his budget by 1.5% or $19m.... He...found he could achieve the savings by closing...the old Orient Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in Columbus with 1,700 inmates. They are being transferred to 10 other prisons in Ohio. Some guards will also be transferred, but about 200 employees will be laid off, Mr. Wilkinson said. He is offering other guards incentives for early retirement. Guards account for about 80% of the cost of prisons.
    In Michigan, where the prison department had to save $50m, it closed a medium security prison in Jackson, 70 miles west of Detroit, along with a halfway house and a work camp. The prison agency also laid off 97 guards who worked in Jackson and cut 161 positions for sergeants, unit managers and asst. deputy wardens at other prisons.... To reduce costs further, Michigan is moving 250-300 prisoners who were "temporarily" [our quotes - ed.] housed in county jails back into prisons so more state guards do not have to be laid off....
    Illinois is closing the Joliet Correctional Center...and is saving $5.4m by eliminating classes for inmates beyond courses to pass a high school equivalency test....
    [So we've got 200+97+161+??= 458 jobcuts + unspecified. But we're not weeping so hard for this industry.]

1/19/2002  3 downsizings, totaling 3,081 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in (NYT) NY Times & (BG) Boston Globe -
  1. 3M plans to eliminate 2,500 more jobs, AP via NYT, B3.
    ...in the next year..\..Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing, which cut 6,000 jobs last year [and is based in Minneapolis, announced the job cuts as it reported that its profit for its Q4 fell to $387m, or 98 cents a share, from $447m, or $1.12 a share, a year earlier..\..
    [It's useless to rail against this or any one company for downsizing employment (and consumer base) while in profit. Clearly the short-term incentives in our particular design of stock-market capitalism are fundamentally wrong, because they conflict with the more fundamental growth goal of the whole system, and possibly even survival, since they motivate overall shrinkage in the longer-term. The short-term incentives are based on a short-term myth - that the job market is infinite and can bear any amount or speed of dumping (of laid-off employees). This is akin to our short-sighted assumptions in the environmental area, that the oceans are infinite, the ground water is infinite, the fish stocks are infinite, the number of passenger pigeons, great auks, moas, and dodos are infinite. It's this myth that is the basis of all Samuelson's and others' sneering at worktime economists as dupes of the "lump of labor fallacy."]
    "These are tough and unusual times, and I don't see the negative global economic situation abating any time soon," 3M's CEO, W. James McNerney Jr., said....
    [Certainly not when CEOs like McNerney are "usually" cutting employee-consumers while in profit!]
    The results included...a $73m pretax gain related to the company's successful appeal in an antitrust case.
    [That's another piece of it. An almost non-existent anti-monopoly function in this largest of world economies, and plenty of long-term suicidal, short-term profitable incentives to merge and acquire instead of growing your own markets and letting the diversity, variability and adaptibility of the overall system increase.]

  2. Merck & Co., NYT, B3.
    ...Whitehouse Station, NJ, a maker of pharmaceuticals, said its Merck-Medco Rx Services unit would close its plant in Wilmington, Del., in March and eliminate 531 jobs.
    [And right there in Delaware too! So handy for an inexpensivebankruptcy.]

  3. Lifelines cut, Talk Magazine goes silent... Founders say the idea for Talk was sound, by Kuczynski & Fabrikant, NYT, frontpage, B3.
    ...The two-year-old general interest magazine founded by Tina Brown, the former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, suspended publication yesterday after Miramax, a unit of the Walt Disney Co., and the Hearst Corp. ended their financial support.... It is not clear whether Talk Miramax Books plans to absorb the magazine staff, which numbers about 50 according to one member....

1/18/2002  5 downsizings, totaling 1,858 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in (NYT) NY Times & (BG) Boston Globe -
  1. Airbus plans $530m in cost cuts, by John Tagliabue, NYT, W1.
    PARIS...- Feeling the pinch of weakening demand for aircraft after 9/11, Airbus Industrie [will] cut costs...this year through early retirement of about 1,200 employees and other measures. Executives said that by eliminating overtime and part-time work, the company would reduce its labor costs the equivalent of 4,800 more full-time jobs without resorting to layoffs.
    [Eliminating overtime is trimming hours rather than jobs = timesizing, not downsizing.]
    Airbus's approach contrasts sharply with that of its American rival Boeing, which has announced 30,000 layoffs in its commercial aircraft business [9/19/2001 #1]....
    [In the future, American companies are going to be viewed as market-bashing barbarians and markets will increasingly be closed to them, just as Americans now steer clear of, e.g., sweatshop manufacturers in Asia.]

  2. Kimball International says it laid off 300 additional workers, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...Manufactur[er of] desks, chairs and office cubicles..\..laid off...workers in its fiscal Q2...bringing the number of jobcuts last year to 2,300 as customers reduced purchases.... Kimball, which now has 9,000 employees, cut 3.2% of its staff, mostly in manufacturing, in the quarter ended Dec. 31.... Sales fell 11%....

  3. Plexus says it is cutting 5% of its work force, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...A provider of electronics design and testing services is cutting 300 jobs, or 5%, of its workforce by the end of its second quarter in March.... Plexus has about 6,000 employees after it bought the assets of MCMS Inc. this year.... Plexus also [will] combine the MCMS plant in San Jose, Calif., with the Plexus plant there, and close the MCMS plant in Raleigh, NC.
    [Doesn't sound like just "assets" that they bought. Again the toxic takeover-downsizing connection.]

  4. Tredegar to close plant that makes layer for diapers, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...A maker of plastic films used in diapers and aluminum pieces used in window framing [will] close a plant in Carbondale, Pa., eliminating 58 jobs by the end of September.... Declining demand from diaper makers led to the decision.... The company has reduced its number of plants to 5 from 8 in the last 2 years.

  5. PPG Industries plans more job cuts and plant closings, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...A maker of paints, specialty chemicals and glass products [plans] to reduce its workforce and close plants as Q4 earnings fell 34%.... PPG has been cutting jobs and closing plants as orders declined after the makers of automobiles, appliances and electronics sold fewer products amid the recession.... Sales fell 7%....
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

1/17/2002  2 downsizings, totaling 670 jobcuts, reported in (NYT) NY Times & (BG) Boston Globe -
  1. Gulfstream Aerospace to close an aircraft finishing plant, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    ...A unit of General Dynamics \will\ close one of its 6 aircraft completion centers and lay off most of the plant's 355 employees and 80 contractors to streamline operations.
    [355+80= 435 total.]
    Gulfstream [will] close its Alliance plant in Fort Worth. Gulfstream acquired the plant in June, when it bought Galaxy Aerospace.
    [Again the consumption-diminishing takeover-downsizing connection.]
    The layoffs will affect about 4% of Gulfstream's 8,300 workers.
    [Well 4% is 332 which doesn't sound like enough to qualify as "most of the plant's 355 employees and 80 contractors," i.e., most of 435. How high can we go and still round down to 4%? 4.49999% of 8300 is 373. Let's round down to 370 (4.46%) pending further specifics.]

  2. Levi Strauss says plant closings and layoffs are likely, AP via NYT, C4.
    Levi Strauss & Co...based in San Francisco \will\ probably close more manufacturing plants and lay off hundreds of workers as it tries to pull out of a five-year slump.
    [Well 200 would be "a couple of hundred" workers, so "hundreds" has to be at least 300, pending further specifics.]

1/16/2002  5 downsizings, costing 5,764 jobs, reported in (NYT) NY Times & (BG) Boston Globe -
  1. Bleak phone-equipment outlook leads Marconi to cut more jobs, by Alan Cowell, NYT, W1.
    LONDON...- Marconi of Britain [will] lay off an additional 4,000 workers, about one-quarter of them in the U.S., to cut costs because it believe[s] that the telecom market [i]s unlikely to recover before 2003.... The newest jobcuts add to about 10,000 already announced, bringing the company's global workforce to about 25,000, approximately a third less than what it had been....
    [We put jobcuts already announced at 12,000, - 10,000 on 7/05/2001 #1 and 2000 on 9/05/2001 #2. Since our running total of 50,000 even on 9/05 would by this 4000 cut be down only to 46,000, and this article is talking about 25,000, they're either talking about a different geography or there have been a lot of cuts (21,000!) that they never announced. Basing a current cut percentage only on present figures, however, we have 4000/(25000+4000)x100%= 4000/29000x100%= 0.137931x100%= 13.8%.]

  2. France: Moulinex deal set, by John Tagliabue, NYT, W1.
    ...A French commercial court awarded control of the Brandt white-goods division \of\ the Moulinex Brandt Group of France...to Elco Holdings Ltd. of Israel. ...Elco pledged to maintain seven of eight existing factories and about 80% of the workforce in France, or 4,195 employees....
    [That means they're not going to maintain 20%, or 4195/4= 1,049 employees.]

  3. 3Com to cut jobs, Bloomberg via BG, E2.
    ...The maker of networking gear..\..is cutting 500 jobs, or about 8.5% of its workforce, to help [it] return to profit, excluding some costs, by Q4.... 3Com also [is] transferring some marketing, HR and finance employees to...operating units. 3Com, which has about 5,900 employees, is eliminating positions worldwide....
    [See roundup back on 6/27/2001 #2.]

  4. Layoffs at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, NYT, C10.
    ...The big securities firm yesterday laid off 120 employees who worked in its information technology department...to reduce costs..\.. About 2/3 of those laid off worked in the company's HQ in Manhattan or at other offices in North America....

  5. CMGI to cut jobs, Bloomberg via BG, E9.
    Andover MA-based...Internet venture company that owns the Web-search service AltaVista...will cut 95 jobs, or less than 4% of its workforce, to reduce costs....

Click here for downsizing stories in -
Jan. 1-15/2002.
Dec. 16-31/2001.
Dec. 1-15/2001.
Nov. 16-30/2001.
Nov. 1-15/2001.
Oct. 16-31/2001.
Oct. 1-15/2001.
Sep. 16-30/2001.
Sep. 1-15/2001.
Aug. 17-31/2001.
Aug. 1-16/2001.
July 16-31/2001.
July 1-15/2001.
Earlier Y2000 months accessible via links at bottom of Dec.1-15/2000 page.
Earlier 1999 months accessible via links at bottom of Dec/1999 page.
Earlier months accessible via links at bottom of Dec/98 page.

For more details, our laypersons' guide to our great economic future Timesizing, Not Downsizing is available at bookstores in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass. or from *Amazon.com online.

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