Timesizing® Associates - HOMEPAGE

Downsizings, Nov. 1-15, 2002
[Commentary] ©2002 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 117, Harvard Square, Cambridge MA 02238 USA (617) 623-8080


11/15/2002   4 downsizings, totaling 5,100 jobcuts, reported in WSJ & NYT -

  1. Sprint to lay off 1,600 employee in PCS division, by Jesse Drucker, WSJ, B4.
    ...and 500 contractors..\..in the latest effort to stem the problems at the nation's No. 4 wireless carrier, [which] has now laid off 16% of its workforce since the beginning of the year....
    [So we're losing 1600+500= 2,100 jobs lost.]
    The Overland Park, Kan., telecom company [is] reinstating deposit requirements for wireless subscribers with poor credit ratings. Last year, the carrier had eliminated the deposit requirements for customers with poor or nonexistent credit, which led to impressive subscriber growth but eventually forced Sprint to start kicking off hundreds of thousands of people who couldn't pay their bills.
    ...Most of the employees to be laid off are in marketing, IT, finance and network..\.. New division Pres. Len Lauer...said that all those employees would receive a minimum of 60 days' pay after being notified.... A Sprint PCS spokesman said the carrier's recent network expansion and upgrade is more efficient and requires fewer people to operate and maintain.
    [Yet another counter-example for those who think "technology creates more jobs than it destroys."]
    Sprint PCS, which has roughly 14.5m subscribers, shut down 5 customer-care centers earlier this lyear, laying off roughly 3,000 employees....
    [See 2/16/2002 #1. That 3000 jobs was 9% of their workforce so the whole workforce was 33,333. Left were 30,333 jobs. And today's 2100 jobcuts are therefore 2100/30333= 7% of the current total.]

  2. Chip maker to cut work force by 15% to help reduce costs, WSJ, B2.
    Advanced Micro Devices Inc...will cut about 2,000...of its 13,000-employee global workforce by the end of the 2nd quarter. The jobcuts...are part of previously announced efforts to reduce costs and help return the chipmaker to profitability. The company...has been hurt by slow demand for PCs and stiffer competition from rival Intel Corp....

  3. Lehman Brothers Holdings lays off 500, including stock strategist, by Susanne Craig, WSJ, C5.
    ...4% of its staff, including...Jeffrey Applegate...who remained bullish through most of the recent market rout....
    [From his picture, he looks something like Niles, Frazier's brother on TV.]
    The layoffs this week are across the board, touching every division..\.. For Lehman, news of the layoffs comes despite the firm's attempts to resist jobcuts in the face of bloodletting at other brokerage houses.
    [Lehman has only laid off 80 (in Europe) on 10/31/2001 #6, but the others, whew! -]
    Wall Street securities firms have dismissed a total of 32,287 employees, or 8.8% of the[ir] workforce, since the end of 2000, according to the Securities Industry Assoc. [SIA], a trade group. [And the workforce cuts are deeper than these numbers...based [only] on the layoffs at Wall Street's largest firms..\..suggest....
    [Good. Many of these people are the very ones who cheered every time there was a mass layoff at non-Wall-St firms, and promoted stocks on the basis of downsizing instead of upsizing. Let's see how they like it now it's happened to them. Hopefully they'll "do the switch," just as Steve Roach of Morgan Stanley did when his own sister(?) got laid off in the mid-1990s. It was only then that, for us, he changed from being a no-class cheerleading cockroach who travelled round the globe preaching "rightsizing" to being a classy realistic Rochefoucauld with even a dash of St. Roch, patron of the plague-stricken, in this case the plague being downsizing.]
    [Followup]
    Lehman Brothers Holdings sets layoffs, 12/05/2002 WSJ, C3.
    ...100-125 investment bankers as part of previously reported staff reductions, said a person familiar with the matter....

  4. i2 Technologies lays off 500, by Andrew Zipern, NYT, C2.
    ...A struggling maker of B2B software...will lay off about...15% of its workforce and cut operating costs to below $100m by March 2003.... i2 Technologies has laid off thousands of workers and changed CEOs twice over the last 2 years as spending on business software has declined. It has posted losses in the last 10 quarters and sales have declined for the last 6 quarters. Shares...which once traded at $110 fell...to $1.05.
    [Lordy, and they still have over $110m in operating costs?!]

11/14/2002   3 downsizings, totaling 5,025 jobcuts, reported in WSJ & NYT -
  1. Cable & Wireless will slash 3,500 jobs, pointer summary (to B8), WSJ, front page.
    ...and close part of its US operations. Shares slid 36% on concern the cost cuts aren't deep enough.
    [Investors still suicidally tolerant of downsizing consumers. Here's the main article -]
    Cable & Wireless worries investors, by Almar Latour & Gren Manuel, WSJ, B8.
    As part of a long-awaited strategic overhaul..\..the global telecommunications company...will [re]focus on services to multinational companies.... After the cuts, C&W will have a workforce of 9,000....
    [That means these cuts are 3500/(9000+3500)= 28% of the total.]

  2. US Air seeks more labor savings, raising concerns about United, by Susan Carey, WSJ, A2.
    ...US Airways Group [is] a company one-fourth United's size..\.. Instead of revisiting pay cuts, US Airways is hoping to gain work-rule changes that would allow it to do more with fewer workers. A spokesman for the nation's 7th-largest airline..\..is turning again to its unions.... Meanwhile, the ranks of US Airways pilots have been decimated by furloughs.
    [And since they're indefinite furloughs, we count them as layoffs.]
    The group will shrink to 3,900 in April from 5,700 before 9/11/01....
    [So US Air's pilots will shrink by 5700-3900= 1,800 between 9/11/01 and 4/01/03, and so far we've only counted 440+100= 550 - see 1/11/2002 #7 - so now we need to count 1800-550= 1,250 more layoffs.]

  3. Inktomi to sell assets to Verity, WSJ, B8.
    FOSTER CITY, Calif. - Inktomi Corp...agreed to sell its corporate-search assets for $25m in cash and assumption of certain liabilities to Verity Inc. The move will shed 100 more workers from Inktomi's already whittled workforce of about 270 employees. Verity officials...plan to hire about 40 of the departing Inktomi workers, whose division handled technology needs for running searches within corporate computer networks.
    [So 100 shed minus 40 rehired leaves 60 still shed.]
    ...Inktomi, which has been posting quarterly losses, has already shed more than 300 jobs since July as it has struggled to become profitable in the technology slump.
    [Alas, we have only caught 85 of these 300, on 10/09/2002 #5, so now we need to count the extra 300-85= 215 sheddees. So altogether, we have the present 60 plus the uncounted 215, giving us 60+215= 275 jobcuts to count now.]

11/13/2002   4 downsizings, totaling 1,887 jobcuts, reported in WSJ & NYT
(not counting today's general stories, namely -
  1. Two plants will be shuttered as part of cost-cutting effort, Dow Jones via WSJ, A7.
    Eastman Kodak Co...will close plants in Mexico and NY state as part of previously announced cost-cutting that will eliminate 1,500 jobs, or about 2% of its workforce. The Rochester NY filmmaker will close a camera-manufacturing operation at Kodak Park in Rochester and a sensitizing operation in Guadalajara, Mexico. Kodak also...will cut positions in its US R&D organizations and eliminate positions in its global manufacturing and logistics units....

  2. Job cuts for 220 employees are part of profitability plan, WSJ, D14.
    Research In Motion Ltd...plans to cut about 10% of its workforce.... Profitability has eluded the Waterloo, Ontario, company for recent quarters as it spends to launch..\..BlackBerry devices...around the world \in\ the corporate wireless e-mail market....

  3. Incyte Genomics to cut 37% of workers and close offices, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...Sell[er of] genetic information to drug companies \will\ lay off 37% of its 700 employees...to save $88m a year.... About 260 jobs will be lost in Palo Alto CA, Beverly MA, and Cambridge, England. The company plans to hire 80 to 100 scientists in the next year to expand its drug research program.
    [So giving them credit in advance for their rehirings, we're talking 260-100= net 160 lost jobs = 23% of the current 700 total.]

  4. Bank of America unit lays off 7 analysts, WSJ, C16.
    ...from its roster of about 60 analysts as the bank's corporate and investment bank participates in the cost-cutting taking place across Wall Street. The securities unit, Banc of America Securities, on Monday laid off analysts Karl Mergenthaler, who covered machinery; Ali Agha, energy; James Reddoch, biotech; Leonard Yaffe, healthcare services; Steven Yanis, wireless telecoms; Mark McKechnie, wireless equipment; and Prakash Parthasarathy, computer services.... Bank of America earlier this fall said it planned to cut 190 jobs at the investment-banking unit [see 10/14/2002 #1], which employs about 7,050....

11/12/2002   3 downsizings, totaling 4,280 jobcuts, reported in WSJ & NYT -
  1. Italy: Job cuts at Pirelli, by Jason Horowitz, NYT, W1.
    The Milan-based communications and tire company [will] reduce costs by cutting 2,400 jobs or 6.4% of its workforce, after a $360m net loss in the 3rd quarter. Most of the layoffs at Pirelli, which is Europe's biggest cable producer, will be outside Italy. Marco Tronchetti Provera, the chairman, said at a news conference that the move was made necessary by a slump in demand for telecom equipment that was "far worse than anybody could have expected."...
    [And these layoffs ensure that it will get even "worser." Funny how smart these guys think they are, but there's absolutely no connection in their craniums between their layoffs and slumping demand. They just don't get it.]

  2. World Watch -...Asia Pacific, ...Briefly, , by Juston Jones, 11/12/2002 WSJ, A16.
    ...Telekom Malaysia may cut up to 5% of its more than 24,000 jobs through a voluntary layoff plan in a continuing move to streamline its operations, said a person familiar with the matter....
    [5% of 24000 is 1,200 layoffs.]

  3. [Rare chance to compare WSJ and NYT stories blow by blow.]
    In latest Wall Street cutback, Morgan Stanley targets brokers, by Randall Smith, WSJ, C5.
    NEW YORK - Morgan Stanley plans a new round of jobcuts that could reduce the ranks of its brokers who serve individual investors by about 5%, according to people close to the securities firm.
    [The NYT calls these people "executives" in their version below.]
    ...The broker head count at Morgan Stanley ha[d] already fallen to 13,590 globally a year earlier, a company spokesman said. A cut of 5% could thus amount to about 680 brokers.
    [680 brokers busted. And the NYT version below says 750.]
    ...Most of its private-client brokers were brought in as part of the company's 1997 merger with Dean Witter, Discover & Co.
    [Again the toxic takeover-downsizing connection.]
    The jobcuts wouldn't necessarily occur through layoffs, the people close to Morgan Stanley said, but instead by setting minimum production targets for annual fees and commissions to be generated by each broker....
    [Here's the NYT version.]
    Morgan Stanley winnowing out brokers' ranks, by Patrick McGeehan, NYT, C1.
    ...[by] dismissing about 750 of its least productive brokers by the end of the year and closing some of its branches as the firm retrenches from the rapid growth plan it adopted a few years ago, executives said yesterday. After eliminating the brokers, Morgan Stanley will have about 12,000 brokers in the U.S., down about 16% from a peak of 14,300 in the summer of 2001.... John Schaefer, president of the brokerage unit...said the brokers being dismissed were "chronic underperformers" who generated only about 2% of the unit's revenue....
    Brokerage firms rarely lay off brokers because employing them costs relatively little and those who do not earn a healthy income usually give up on their own. But Morgan Stanley, deep into a slump in the stock market, is under pressure to reduce costs in its brokerage operation, formerly known as Dean Witter....

11/09-11/2002   5 downsizings, totaling 11,554 jobcuts + unspecified, noted in Mon. WSJ & (mostly) Sat. NYT (This weekend we take a step toward practising what we preach and cut our own workweek from 6 to 5 days, to reclaim - after 3 years - our 2-day weekend. The Sat. NYT has gotten a little thin in biz news the past 3-4 Saturdays. The WSJ doesn't publish at all on Sats. So we've decided to take advantage of our switch from the regional Boston Globe to the national WSJ to follow the WSJ's practice of holding the Fri. biz news till Monday - USA Today does it too, because it's Fri. issue is always labeled "Fri-Sat-Sun." This weds the Sat. NYT to its logical mate, the Mon. WSJ - and we include the news-lite Mon. NYT incidentally, since the Sat. and Sun. NYT has already mostly "scooped it" as far as business news is concerned. Our website hits plummet during the weekend anyway starting on Friday afternoon, and surge on Monday and Tuesday. So this will give us more time off during which creative ideas will undoubtedly strike - for forwarding this whole agenda. And this will mean we change from counting the weekend results in with the following week's figures and separately from the current weekend's roll-up, to counting the weekend results in with the preceding week's figures and integrated into the current weekend's roll-up.) -
  1. 11/11 ABB Ltd. lowers outlook, details cutback plan, Dow Jones via WSJ, B3.
    ZURICH -...The engineering group..\..gave more details of plans to cut staff and debts in a quest to win back investor confidence.... The program aims to reduce costs by $800m a year and will involve more than 10,000 additional jobcuts, ABB's CEO Juergen Dormann said....
    [So with the 'original' 10,000 cuts, ABB is now up to 23,100 total jobcuts in last two years. We estimated these additional cuts, then described only as "thousands," at 2000 on 10/25/2002 #1. Therefore we have now to count 'only' 10000-2000= 8,000 more jobcuts, or 8000/148738= a 5% downsizing. Since the 10/25 cuts left the workforce at 148,738, these additional cuts will take the declining balance down to 148738-8000= 140,738 perishable souls, and their tenuously surviving, rich 'rain forest' of dependent consumer markets.]

  2. 11/11 United Airlines attendants near wage deal - Workers tentatively join pilots to back plan to cut $5.8B in labor costs [over 5½ years] - The carrier is focused on winning $1.8B in government backing to raise more capital, by Susan Carey, WSJ, A2.
    CHICAGO - ...The leadership of the Assoc. of Flight Attendants, which represents nearly 24,000 United attendants, unanimously agreed to put to its members a plan in which the union would provide $412m of givebacks during the period.... The news came just 2 days after the nation's 2nd-largest airline announced that its plans for a reduced schedule next year will result in an additional 2,700 flight-attendant furloughs starting at the end of January.... United recently announced cost-cutting measures that will result in the layoffs of 1,500 employees, not including the latest flight-attendant furloughs [which, being indefinite, we treat as simple layoffs - ed.]. It is expected that other work groups also will be trimmed as United cuts its capacity next year. For instance, the tentative pact on concessions reached between the Air Line Pilots Assoc. and United gives the company the right to furlough 600 more pilots on top of the 844 already laid off.
    [We'll assume the 1500 figure mentioned is a rounding up of the 1250 layoffs mentioned on 10/22/2002 #2 plus the 229 layoffs on 10/24/2002 #2 (same page). Guess we won't count the 600 yet, and we'll assume the 844 is included in the original 20,000 cuts on 9/19/2001 #2.]

  3. 11/09 McDonald's cuts forecast and will close 175 [underperforming] outlets, by Sherri Day, NYT, B1.
    ...in 10 countries and...completely shut its operations in 3 other countries. ...The company also said it would cut 400 to 600 jobs worldwide, with 250 job reductions in the U.S....
    [The bad news is they're cutting jobs. The good news is these are McJobs.]

  4. 11/11 Commerzbank to slash investment-bank staff, by Marcus Walker & Erik Portanger, WSJ, C5.
    ...to sharpen its focus.... The Frankfurt-based bank is due to give details tomorrow of its shift in strategy from international investment banking to a tighter focus on German corporate banking. As part of that plan, Commerzbank intends to lay off 325 investment bankers and 225 back-office staff from its securities division.... It will merge its NY-based commercial-banking and investment-banking operations in a move aimed at cutting back-office costs by half....
    [We caught 300 of the 325 below on 11/08 #4, so we need count now only 25+225= 250 jobcuts.]
    [Followup]
    Germany: Bank has a loss, by Mark Landler, 11/13/2002 NYT, W1.
    ...The bank, Germany's 4th largest, announced that it would lay off 450 people in its investment banking division, many of them in Tokyo. Officials said thousands of additional jobcuts were likely as Commerzbank struggles amid one of the worst banking slumps in postwar German history.
    [On 11/11 there were 325+225= 550. On 11/13 there were only 450. Who knows what's going on. We'll assume total overlap. We've probably counted a lot more layoffs than we should for this bank anyway, judging from this further followup -]
    Commerzbank had 2002 loss, by Elizabeth Souder & Marcus Walker, 2/06/2003 WSJ, C12.
    ...The bank's CEO, Klaus-Peter Mueller...aims to drive costs below 5B euros this year. That means another round of layoffs. The bank has already cut 4,300 jobs staff [sic] since 1999, with 345 more layoffs due in the securities division. Next month, Mr. Mueller plans to give details on where further cuts will come.
    [So since 1999, a total of 4300+345= 4,645 jobcuts. And nostra culpa, we've counted more than that:
    here on 11/09-11/2002 #4, we counted 250
    below on 11/08/2002 #4, 300
    7/23/2002 intro para (uncounted 900)
    10/16/2001 #2, 3400
    9/19/2001 #5, 4000
    11/16/2000 #4, unspecified
    for a grand total of 250+300+3400+4000= 7,950 cuts, and the 2/06/2003 WSJ is claiming there's only been a total of 4,645 cuts. Well, with the confusion evinced by that AP story on 7/23/2002 mentioning 900 cuts out of the blue, we ain't gonna go back and doctor anything till we get more info one way or the other.]
    [More followup - here's a few more cuts in Tokyo -]
    Japan: Securities unit closed, by Ken Belson, 3/27/2003 NYT, W1.
    Commerzbank [will] close its equities business in Japan, laying off 50 workers, or more than a third of its Tokyo office. Commerzbank joins ABN Amro Holding, Credit Agricole Indosuez and others that have left Japan in recent months. Commerzbank's unit, Commerz Securities, cut 50 jobs in Japan in December.
    [more followup, easing our 'culpa' -]
    Germany: Bank cuts jobs, by Petra Kappl, NYT, W1.
    ...The Commerzbank Group [will] cut another 3,100 jobs to cut costs. The[y] will come on top of 4,300 job reductions that are to be completed next year and form a part of the group's plan to save expenses of 688m euros ($750m) through 2004....

  5. 11/11 Chief Justice's daughter lands in hot seat - Senate panel asks if HHS Inspector General Janet Rehnquist politicizes offices, forces out staff, by Sarah Lueck, WSJ, A4.
    [Probably just the "liberal media," right? - cuz the Republicans are too totally wonderful for this to be anything but a mountain out of a molehill and a tempest in a teacup.]
    WASHINGTON - The Dept. of Health and Human Services' [HHS's] Inspector General is facing scrutiny.... Complaints about [her] performance...have attracted attention from other inspectors general and from Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, soon to be the powerful Finance Committee's chairman.... "They're cleaning out people that were doing their job of exposing things," Mr. Grassley says.
    [Oops, better reconsider the appointment of that 5th-columnist, Grassley. As we all know, the White House owes nobody information about anything, and neither does the Republican-controlled U.S. Supreme Court or any of its relatives (Latin: nepotes) in any other Republican-controlled government agencies. It's all a matter of national security, you see, in this age of constant warnings of imminent terrorism by Republican AG Ashcroft, as the "leader of the free world" moves further into the Orwellian and the Kafka-esque.]
    ...Every department and major agency has an inspector general: the HHS's 1,600-employee office is the biggest.... The HHS office is responsible for safeguarding $450B+ in annual spending, including Medicare and Medicaid, giving it a big role in policing healthcare fraud.
    [From it's moving from "policing" to "generating," and Ms. Rehnquist's restaffing will doubtless make Dubya's dismantling of Medicare and Medicaid just a little bit easier. As Bob Herbert says in his op ed "Behind the smile" today (NYT, A21), "To Ronald Reagan, for example, Medicare was an affront to the very idea of America..., the advance wave of socialism. ...Newt Gingrich, apparently referring to the original fee-for-service version of Medicare...wise-cracked: 'We don't get rid of it in Round One because we don't think it's politically smart.'"]
    Of high turnover in her [Ms. Rehnquist's] office,.\..Patrick McFarlane, the Office of Personnel Management's Inspector General and dean of the government's 57 inspectors general...adds: "For any political appointee to come in and eliminate people - if that's true, it's absolutely improper."
    [As Bob Herbert says in the op ed mentioned above, "One of the definitions of slick is 'deftly executed; adroit.'... Bill Clinton at his most devious was never as sly or as cunning...as the Republican Party has become.... Driven by its right wing...the GOP is putting in place profoundly conservative {we'd call them radical} policies that will hamper progressive efforts for decades to come, no matter what happens in upcoming elections." This is how great nations lose their feedback and self-correcting systems, how great empires fall, and how "the first become last." This incident is just another little piece of it -]
    Ms. Rehnquist declined to be interviewed. ...She forwarded a reporter's written questions to the GAO [whose] press office now declines to discuss Ms. Rehnquist on the record.
    [So, you ask, why this nepotism in the first place???]
    Appointment raised questions
    ...Ever since pResident Bush picked Ms. Rehnquist, critics have questioned if she got the job because of her name.... The new Inspector General quickly put her stamp on the office, easing antifraud measures and instead emphasizing voluntary compliance.
    [Apparently another part of the new Bush "optional laws for the rich, mandatory laws for everyone else." But even the optional laws got weakened -]
    She scaled back the use of "corporate integrity agreements," in which healthcare companies found to have defrauded the government acquiesce to strict reporting conditions, saying she was "concerned about [their] financial impact" on providers. The change has "weakened the system," says June Gibbs Brown, Ms. Rehnquist's predecessor [and] an inspector general at 4 other agencies under [both] Republican and Democratic presidents..\..
    [On the other hand, she has tightened up some areas. See if this makes you relax (hoho) -]
    Ms. Rehnquist, the office's only political appointee, was so suspicious of civil servant holdovers from the Clinton administration that she had to be talked out of requiring annual loyalty pledges from deputies, people familiar with the office say.
    [So why is this article on the downsizing page, sez you. Well,...]
    New inspectors general usually make changes, but Ms. Rehnquist undertook a wholesale housecleaning.... "She's looking for people to be loyal and do what she asks them to do"..\..says Tom Scully, the HHS official who oversees Medicare and Medicaid....
    1. Deputy Inspector General Tom Roslewicz...retired a year early after Ms. Rehnquist tried to impose the loyalty pledge and denied him a bonus....
    2. Another deputy, D. McCarty Thornton...left under pressure. Both [he and Roslewicz] had won Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Awards.
    3. Ms. Rehnquist told 2 other deputies - Michael Mangano...
    4. and George Grob... - to look for jobs elsewhere and to make themselves scarce in the meantime, giving them token assignments but otherwise making them no-show employees for weeks, people familiar with the matter say. ...Both had won the meritorious award and the more-coveted Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award. They now work for the government elsewhere, though Mr. Grob remains on the Inspector General's [ie: the HHS's?] payroll.
    [So that's 4 layoffs that we know about, plus -]
    ...Says Ms. Gibbs Brown..."People have been asked to leave...with little or no notice."...
    [So 4 layoffs plus unspecified additional. And this is not some liberal "rag" reporting on this, sportsfans - this story comes from the Organ of Darkness itself - the Wall Street Journal. And if they're worried, we better worry.]

11/08/2002   7 downsizings, totaling 14,830 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in WSJ & NYT -
  1. Royal & Sun is paring down to increase reserves - Management problems add to a company's troubles, by Suzanne Kapner, NYT, W1.
    LONDON...- Hit by falling stock prices, rising asbestos claims and management problems, the Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group [will] cut its work force by nearly a quarter and sell unprofitable businesses in an attempt to increase reserves.... Some 12,000 jobs will be cut in the next 2 years at a cost of £120m ($188m), mainly by farming out administrative duties and selling divisions in the U.S....

  2. National Airlines ceases operation, cutting 1,500 jobs, WSJ, B8.
    LAS VEGAS - After operating nearly 2 years under bankruptcy-court protection, National Airlines shut down Wednesday night...leaving hundreds of passengers scrambling for standby accommodations on other carriers....

  3. Fiat says auto unit will post loss of $2.01B for 2002, by Alessandra Galloni, WSJ, A7.
    ...Unions are protesting Fiat plans to cut 7,600 jobs, on top of the 3,000 announced earlier this year.
    [7600+3000= 10,600 jobcuts total. So far we've only counted up to 10,000 on 11/01 #1 below, so now we have yet to count 10,600-10,000= 600 more jobcuts.]
    [Followup - we'll assume the following layoffs are included in the above -]
    World Watch -...Europe -...Briefly, , by Juston Jones, 11/12/2002 WSJ, A16.
    Hundreds of Fiat workers blocked access to Palermo's port yesterday, disrupting travel across the Sicilian capital. It was the latest in a series of strikes and protests staged by workers at the Italian auto maker's Termini Imerese plant, near Palermo, where all 1,800 jobs are to be cut if Fiat goes ahead with its restructuring plans.
    [Further followup - again we assume that all layoffs mentioned are subsumed in the above -]
    Italy approves layoffs for Fiat, risking strikes, by Alessandra Galloni & Luca di Leo, 12/06/2002 WSJ, A5.
    ROME -...As protesters angrily pushed through police barricades..., the government agreed to grant Fiat long-awaited "crisis status." This allows the company to dip into a special fund to help finance 5,600 temporary layoffs, which fall mostly at Fiat Auto's factories across Italy but also affect some of the company's auto-parts businesses.... In a concession to government, Fiat agreed to close its Sicilian plant for only 6 months, instead of at least one year. Fiat also agreed to allow employees at other plants to work on a rotating basis, instead of staying home. But in return, Italy's center-right administration gave teh green light for as many as 2,900 permanent layoffs for workers approaching retirement, compared with just 500 in a plan Fiat had originally presented Oct. 9....
    In June, Fiat plans to lay off an additional 2,000 workers in the hope of getting back into the black by 2004, when the company can exercise its option to sell part or all of its 80% stake to GM....

  4. Commerzbank plans layoffs, WSJ, C10.
    FRANKFURT - German lender...plans to lay off 20% of its investment bankers in an attempt to trim costs amid weak securities markets, according to people familiar with the matter. Commerzbank's supervisory board is expected to approve the plan on Monday, which would see about 300 of the bank's 1,600 investment-banking staff leave. Most of the cuts will fall on stock-underwriting, brokerage, and mergers and acquisitions units and in offices that include London, Frankfurt and Tokyo....

  5. World Watch -...Europe/Africa -...Briefly -...Societe Generale, WSJ, A8.
    ...will cut around 250 jobs from its cash equities and mergers-and-acquisitions operations, in a further sign that the bloodletting among investment banks in Europe is far from over. The planned jobcuts represent 14% of the 1,800 employed by the French bank's investment-banking unit across the world.

  6. Netro, maker of wireless equipment, to lay off 130, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...A maker of equipment for high-speed wireless Internet access [will] lay off...more than half of its workforce.... Workers in San Jose, Calif., where the company is based, and in Redmond, Wash.. will be affected. Netro, which has about 255 employees, said the reduction would pare costs by about 45%. The company laid off about 50 workers in Q3....
    [We didn't see anything from Netro earlier this year, so we must now count 130+50= 180 jobcuts.]

  7. World Watch -...Europe/Africa -...Briefly -...Reuters Group, WSJ, A8.
    ...plans to cut some jobs in its news divisions, a company spokeswoman said. In July, Reuters posted its first quarterly loss since it became a publicly listed company in 1984 and said its core business remained challenging....
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

11/07/2002   3 downsizings, totaling 6,020 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in WSJ & NYT -
  1. Japan: Tobacco profit, by Ken Belson, NYT, W1.
    ...Japan Tobacco, the world's 3rd-largest cigarette maker...plans to eliminate 5,800 jobs.

  2. Corel cuts 22% of work force, WSJ, A12.
    Canadian software company...has cut 220 employees...as part of its plan to streamline operations and increase efficiencies. The jobcuts will affect all departments....

  3. France: Bank's profit declines, by Kerry Shaw, NYT, W1.
    France's biggest bank, BNP Paribas...is also cutting back its Europe-based research staff, with plans to close operations in Madrid, Milan and Frankfurt.
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

11/06/2002   3 downsizings, totaling 3,700 jobcuts, reported in WSJ & NYT
(not counting economywide stories, "Outcasts from China's feast - Millions of laid-off urban workers are getting angry," by David Murphy, WSJ, A19, and "Add this to your financial to-do list: Preparing for the risk of getting laid off," by Terri Cullen, WSJ, D1) -
  1. Wall Street layoffs continue at Merrill and Goldman Sachs, Dow Jones via WSJ, C11.
    ...Goldman Sachs Group Inc. laid off about 4% of its staff in its stock division as part of previously announced plans, according to people at the firm.... At Goldman, which previously said it would end 2002 with staff slightly below its Q3 level of 20,647,... employee headcount was down 12% in its third quarter ended in August from a year earlier.
    [If its 3Q02 level at 20647 was 12% below its 3Q01 level, then its 3Q01 level was (20647÷(100-12))x100= (20647÷88)x100= 234.625x100= 23,462, and Goldman has lost 23462-20647= 2,816 jobs over that year. Of these, we have only counted 65 on 11/22/2001 #3, so we must now count 2816-65= 2,750 lost jobs, which is 2750÷(23462-65)= 2750÷23397= 11.75%, say 12% of the total at the time.]

  2. Visteon offers early retirement to 12% of U.S. workers, Bloomberg via NYT, C3.
    ...12% of its salaried workers in the U.S...in an effort to restore profits. About 1,100 of 9,300 salaried workers are eligible.... Employees must be at least 55 years old [agism?] or have 30 years of service with Visteon and its former parent, Ford Motor..\.. The autoparts maker...which has relied on Ford for about 80% of revenue since being spun off in 2000, is being hurt by Ford's falling sales and market share.
    [So if 50% of the 1100 eligible take the offer, we'll have 550 lost jobs.]

  3. Wall Street layoffs continue at Merrill and Goldman Sachs, Dow Jones via WSJ, C11.
    NEW YORK - Major Wall Street firms continue to lay off employees amid a protracted business slump. Merrill Lynch & Co. is laying off about 400 people in its brokerage group, according to a person close to the company.... Merrill is cutting about 4% of its client associates, or 250 people who directly support financial advisers. About 150 other staffers are also being cut.... The cuts represent only a sliver of Merrill's overall workforce. The firm had 53,400 employees at the end of the 3rd quarter [Sept.31].
    [So this takes its headcount down to 53400-400= 53,000. Hmm, from an article on 7/25/2002 #1, we got a headcount of 52,200, but that was based on the statement that 17,400 was roughly 25% of the total. If we adjust that calculated total of 69,600 to 69600+(53000-52200), we get 69600+800= 70,400, and 17400/70400 is still 24.7% or "roughly 25%."]
    Since the end of 2000, the firm has reduced its headcount by 18,600.... Merrill and other Wall Street firms continue to hire selectively, even as they cut jobs in certain areas....
    [Guaranteed to keep consumers rattled, unconfident and not spending.]

11/05/2002   6 downsizings, totaling 2,777 jobcuts, reported in WSJ & NYT
(not counting industry- and economy-wide losses mentioned in "Manufacturing jobs are exiting Mexico - Businesss leaders try to stop the exodus of factories to China," by Elisabeth Malkin, NYT, W1, and "Laid-off workers turn to Web for job-search advice, support," by Kris Maher, WSJ, B8, and "Boom's end is felt even at the wealthy universities," by Kate Zernike, NYT, A25, which states "Among 34 [small colleges] to close since 1995 are Bradford and Aquinas Colleges in Massachusetts and Trinity in Vermont.") -
  1. Payrolls to be trimmed 11% amid continued downturn, WSJ, A14.
    ...in the semiconductor industry...a long-running slump in the semiconductor market, which has slowed down a move by many chip makers to adopt new production technologies..\..
    [Well it's only so long that you can keep increasing your production with new technologies and decreasing your markets with downsizing (instead of timesizing) before the total contradiction makes itself felt.]
    Applied Materials Inc. plans to cut 1,750 jobs, or about 11% of its workforce worldwide, to reduce costs.... The cuts affect about 800 positions at Applied Materials' Silicon Valley operations and about 200 positions at its Austin, Texas, location [and] the remaining positions at other locations in the US and worldwide by the end of the first quarter. The Santa Clara, Calif., company...the biggest maker of chip-manufacturing gear..\..eliminated 4,700 positions in 3 rounds of workforce cuts during the year....

  2. Ameren to offer voluntary retirement to workers, AP via NYT, C4.
    ...The parent company of Missouri's largest electric utility [will] offer voluntary retirement packages to approximately 1,000 of its 7,400 employees, or about 14% of its workforce. The company, based in St. Louis...expects...voluntary retirements of 300 to 500 employees [and] might also consider involuntary jobcuts and other unspecified ways to pare staffing.
    [So, they're expecting about half their early retirement offers to be picked up.]

  3. Dow Jones cuts workforce, freezes salaries, WSJ, B6.
    ...3.3% of its workforce...and reducing bonus payment in response to the continued weak advertising environment.
    [apparently unaware, despite its pre-eminent position in the financial and economic data industry, that its actions will further weaken the advertising environment.]
    In a memo sent to the company's staff, Chairman and CEO Peter Kann said layoffs will total about 230. Dow Jones employs 7,011 people. A spokeswoman...said..\..the layoffs...will be "throughout the company" [and] should be completed by mid-November. This is the latest in a series of staff reductions Dow Jones has undertaken since its core business began to deteriorate in 2000.
    [Maybe it's not "deteriorating." Maybe it's just experiencing natural fluctuations.]
    Including the current round, the company will have laid off 1,120 workers since 2000. Dow Jones's earnings have been severely hurt by the sharp drop in technolog[ical] and financial advertising. 3Q02 represented the 5th consecutive quarter for which the company's print publishing operations posted operating losses.... "In a business such as ours, it is impossible to reduce costs meaningfully without reducing staff," Mr. Kann said in a memo.
    [So Mr. Kann kannot imagine timesizing, not downsizing, just as many astronomers and experts in 1602 could not imagine a round Earth spinning round the Sun - it was too obvious - and supported by the Bible - that the Sun passed round a flat Earth every day. Did not the command of Joshua (10:12-14) make the Sun and Moon stop in their course over Gibeon and Ajalon?! (Or was it just a poetic way of saying the day was long enough for all the military targets listed to be taken?)]
    "This has been a very painful price to pay, but we saw no other realistic alternative."...
    [Yeah, it's sooo realistic to keep de-activating your own and your customer's customers by ejecting them from their source of spending power. The first economy, no matter how small, that "gets" this imperative and implements it fluidly with automatic overtime-to-training conversion, will mop the floor with the rest of the "global" economies, including that 800-ton dinosaur, the USA.]
    [followup]
    Wall Street Journal lays off 23 employees, 11/12/2002 NYT, C8.
    ...one cluster of 8 reporters and editors assigned to legal affairs and a second cluster of 4 that dealt with regional economic news. The other 11 layoffs were scattered throughout the news operation. Eight news staff also took buyouts, for a total loss of 31, or 5% of the news staff of the Journal's domestic edition. In addition, 3 of the 48 jobs in the paper's editorial dept. will be cut.
    The layoffs are...part of 230 announced last week by Dow Jones, the 2nd round of cuts this year. Since 2000, Dow Jones has laid off 1,119 employees.... The advertising recession has hit the Journal, with a circulation of 1.8m, harder than most major newspapers.

  4. Smurfit-Stone to close 3 plants, lay off 217 workers, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...early next year...as it consolidated operations to save money. The plants are in Spartanburg SC, Fort Smith AK, and Milwaukee. \The\ packaging company...based in Chicago..\..has about 38,500 workers, said a spokesman, Darrell Carter. [It will] permanently shut...down one of the machines at its Missoula, Mont., plant.

  5. Boom's end is felt even at the wealthy universities, by Kate Zernike, NYT, A25.
    ...Dartmouth has postponed building 2 residence halls and 2 academic buildings and several renovation projects. Last week, Pres. James Wright told faculty members that the college would have to cut up to 80 nonfaculty staff positions, and it is also asking departments to cut back on travel to conferences or for speakers coming to campus....

  6. Penwest, Josef Rettenmaier pact, WSJ, B5.
    PATTERSON, NY - Penwest Pharmaceuticals Co. signed a definitive agreement to sell substantially all the assets of its excipient business to closely held Josef Rettenmaier Holding Gmbh.... The specialty pharmaceuticals company...said Rettenmaier, a provider of cellulosic and organic fiber products and manufacturing, is expected to offer employment to all of the affected workers.
    [Sounds iffy in this economy - unspecified job losses.]

11/04/2002   2 downsizings, totaling unspecified jobcuts, reported in WSJ & NYT -
11/01/2002   4 downsizings, totaling 2,800 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in WSJ & NYT -
(not counting economywide story, "Employees bear brunt of corporate thrift - Rising profits bring little relief to workers as companies continue layoffs to cut costs," by Jon Hilsenrath, WSJ, A2, citing Morgan Chase, Sun, Boeing and Corning, but this type of CEO behavior is exactly what militates against recovery = downsizing in profit as well as loss) -
  1. Fiat reports loss, plans write-off of car-unit debt, by Alessandra Galloni, WSJ, A3.
    ...As part of its turnaround strategy for the auto unit, Fiat officials have proposed nearly 10,000 jobcuts, a plan that has triggered widespread protests in Italy's heavily unionized industrial sector....
    [We only counted 8,100 of these on 10/10/2002 #1, so we must now count 10000-8100= 1,900 jobcuts.]

  2. Boeing considers reducing 767 jet assembly line staff, AP via NYT, C4.
    ...A Boeing factory manager told workers on Wednesday that he expected employment on the line to drop to 700 from about 1,400, a company spokesman, Craig Martin, said....
    [leaving 1400-700= 700 jobs up in the air. These should probably have been presumed included in either the 30,000 announced on 9/19/2001 #1 or the 1500 additional announced on 10/31/2002 #4, but we'll straighten all this out on 1/08/2003 #1.]

  3. Work force cut will result in fourth-quarter charge, Dow Jones via WSJ, C12.
    Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. [executive recruiting, will] cut about 13% of its workforce due to the sluggish economy.... Heidrick...intends to cut about 200 positions, including about 50 search consultants, out of a workforce of 1,600.

  4. Guess will cut jobs and close stores in revamping, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...The clothing retailer and designer [will] eliminate jobs, close underperforming stores and sell corporate sites to lower costs after Q3 sales fell 8.5%. The company, which had 242 stores and 4,400 employees at the end of 2001, did not elaborate....
    [Keeping us Guess-ing, eh? Unspecified jobcuts.]


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