Timesizing® Associates - HOMEPAGE
Downsizings, Feb. 1-15, 2003
[Commentary] ©2003 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 117, Harvard Square, Cambridge MA 02238 USA (617) 623-8080
2/15/2003 1 downsizing, totaling 1,296 lost jobs, cited in Wall Street Journal &/or NY Times -
2/14/2003 8 downsizings, totaling 5,821 lost jobs + unspecified, cited in Wall Street Journal &/or NY Times -
- Union says United Airlines is seeking greater cost cuts, Bloomberg via NYT, B4.
...The world's 2nd-largest carrier...owned by the UAL Corp., also wants to eliminate thousands of flight attendant jobs as it transfers 30% of flight capacity to a new low-cost airline unit, the union said....
["Thousands," plural, means at least 2,000, and the airline had its last self-amputation on 1/24/2003 #3, which cut 704 flight attendants. Now we're hearing about at least 2,000 flight-attendant cuts, so we need to count 2000-704= an estimated 1,296 more cuts. Our running balanced for the airline's workforce is 77,608 so the current estimated cut is 1296/77608= 1.7%, and the running balance is down to 77608-1296= 76,312 in the 2nd-largest U.S. airline's corporate vrille (WWI airforce French for death-spiralling 'tailspin.')]
2/13/2003 5 downsizings, totaling 6000 lost jobs + unspecified, reported in Wall Street Journal &/or New York Times (not counting economywide "Jobless Chinese may be double official count," Reuters via WSJ, A10, which states, "The official rate was 4% last year, but that counted only the 7.5m people in urban areas registered as jobless.... An additional 10 million people had been laid off but still were on official payrolls.... Under such arrangements, common at state companies trying to slim down, workers are paid a small monthly stipend to cover basic living expenses. Social discontent stemming from unemployment is a critical issue for China's new generation of leaders, which....has set a target of creating 9.5m jobs this year to keep the official unemployment rate below 4.5%.") -
- Chief executive puts job cuts at as many as 4,000 people, WSJ, B3.
Bethlehem Steel Corp. said as many as 4,000 people will lose their jobs as a result of [ISG] International Steel Group's buyout of the company, which is operating under bankruptcy protection. Robert S. Miller, Bethlehem chairman and CEO, told employees Wednesday that 3,000-4,000 jobs will be eliminated. The higher figure amounts to 36% of Bethlehem's workforce of 11,000 [see 10/16/2001].
ISG Chairman Wilbur Ross Jr., angered by Mr. Miller's comments, issued a statement ye[s]terday [proofreader!] that Mr. Miller will "play no role in establishing manning levels at the new company." ["bird fight"!] Mr. Ross asked Mr. Miller to retract his remarks but didn't challenge the estimate. "There is no question that there will be more jobs at Bethlehem as part of ISG than there would be if Bethlehem tried to struggle along on its own," Mr. Ross said.
[Huh? Guess the issue here is pecking order, not clarity.]
Bethlehem Steel's board voted Saturday to accept ISG's $1.5B offer.
[So, again the toxic takeover-downsizing connection, and Ross is just trying to damage-control any potential investor alarm and save the value of his vast stock holdings.]
The Bethelehem PA company...last week said it planned to terminate retirees' health benefits.
[See 2/08-10/2003 #1. Ironic. "Beth lehem" in Hebrew means "house-of bread" or more generally, any "building-for food" or provisions, and here, Bethlehem Steel executives are trying to quit providing for its retired employees, despite much MUCH wealthier executives in America today (yes, we're suggesting they make good on their commitments out of their own multimillions!) - but less secure because they suctioned the spending power out of the markets for the productivity their own money is invested in, hoping to at least retain its value.... Dream on, boys. No way are your stocks going to retain their value when you're consolidating sooo much spending power in your own relatively few accounts that you're strangling your own markets. Too bad the 10 Nobel laureates in economics this week (2/11/2003 #1) aren't talking about this. We heard 3 of them (Friedman, Samuelson, McFadden) on NPR's The Connection on Wed. eve and, man, how 3 such bright well-paid people can completely ignore the elephant in the room with them is amazing to behold.]
- New Atlanta mayor points a way out of city fiscal hole - A share-the-pain approach of job cuts and tax boosts works for Shirley Franklin..., by Mollenkamp & Rose, WSJ, front page.
...As cities, counties and states across the country struggle with deficits, she's a step ahead, having successfully pushed through both a tax increase and job cuts.... Some ideas, such as jobcuts, hit hardest at some of the very people who supported her election. And just before the voting, she had said she could balance the budget without layoffs and without raising taxes. Now, she was going to have [to] admit she was wrong on both counts.
On the weekend before she was to offer a budget, she still needed $10m more to balance it. She turned to a list of cuts she'd hoped to avoid. Among them: requiring each city employee to take 20 days off without pay in 2002.
Some proposals angered some of the council members..\.. C.T. Martin, a city councilman [who] hired people on his own dime to trim tall grass around city signs and small parks because the budget eliminated grass cutters...felt there were "too many cuts that affect the service-delivery" jobs. But the lawmakers found themselves in the same tight spot as the mayor: By law, the city must enact a balanced budget.
The council reduced the proposed 20-day unpaid furloughs to five days.
[Still, a primitive form of timesizing, not downsizing.]
To make up the difference, it voted to increase city property taxes a little more than the mayor proposed: 51% instead of 47%. The change means an owner of a $300,000 home owes about $982 in city property tax, plus separate county and school taxes. The council adopted the budget on a 10-5 vote.
All told, the city council cut 846 of 5,407 jobs. The total, which was slightly above the mayor's proposal, included 259 layoffs and dropping 587 vacant slots....
[Presumably there would have been more if they hadn't substituted some worktime cutting for workforce cutting.]
- Casual Male Retail Group to close outlet stores and cut 500 jobs, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
The...operator of Casual Male Big & Tall, plans to close its Levi's and Dockers outlet stores as it focuses on selling clothing to big and tall men. It plans to close 50-55 [such] stores in the next 24 months. 30 remaining stores will be sold or shut at the end of their lease terms, the CFO, Dennis Hernreich, said....
- Corning to shut photonics plant in California, AP via NYT, C3.
...Fountain Valley, Calif.... The world's biggest maker of optical fiber and cable posted a Q4 loss of $709m, its 7th quarterly loss in a row \and will\ eliminate about 190 jobs...in an attempt to rebound from a sharp slowdown in the telecom industry....
- Carbon-fiber plant, started by Conoco, to be shut down, WSJ, B8.
ConocoPhillips Inc...is closing its "revolutionary" carbon-fiber operation, less than two years after it built a $125m plant to manufacture the material.... The Ponca City, Okla., plant, which began commercial production of the product, employed 175 people, who the company said will be reassigned or laid off....
[Assuming 50/50, we estimate 88 layoffs.]
The company cited uncertainties in marketing, operations and technology as reasons for shutting down Cevolution, Conoco's moniker for the carbon-fiber operation..\.. The announcement comes as part of CEO Jim Mulva's effort to slash costs this year by 25% and underscores the leverage that the Phillips Petroleum Co. culture still holds over the old Conoco Inc. in the newly merged company....
[Again, the toxic takeover-downsizing connection.]
- Bank of America says it will cut 110 jobs in Tokyo, by Ken Belson, NYT, B4.
...The bank, which has operated in Japan for half a century \is\ laying off half its staff in Tokyo because of the continued downturn in Japanese markets. [It] will keep 110 people in Tokyo and shift some jobs to Singapore....
- Tax-shelter sellers lie low for now, wait out storm - Accountants rename strategies, cut staff, but once stocks rise, a weak IRS is very tempting, by Bryan-Low & McKinnon, WSJ, C1.
...KPMG LLP...last year...disbanded some teams that pitched aggressive strategies - including some named after the Shakespearean playst "The Tempest" and "Othello" - to large corporate clients and their top executives....
- Tax-shelter sellers lie low for now, wait out storm - Accountants rename strategies, cut staff..., by Bryan-Low & McKinnon, WSJ, C1, C11.
...Ernst & Young LLP says a group there that had sold tax strategies for wealthy individuals has been shut.... E&Y does continue to sell tax strategies to corporate clients, but, a spokesman says: "We don't offer off-the-shelf strategies that don't have a business purpose."...
Federal tax authorities are bracing for a new round of tax-shelter scams. When the Treasury's top tax official, Pamela Olson, went to a lawyers' conference in San Antonio last month, she mentioned to one of her shelter sources that she hadn't gotten any plain brown envelopes lately from informants in San Francisco. In recent years, that city has been a hotbed of exotic tax engineering, making her wonder if the scam artists were quiescent.
But a few days after she got back to Washington, she received an anonymous plain brown envelope from San Francisco containing information about a tax-shelter scheme she had never heard of before.
2/12/2003 3 downsizings, totaling 500 lost jobs + unspecified, reported in Wall Street Journal &/or New York Times (not counting economywide "Outside do-it-yourself store, men yearn to do it for them - Home Depot parking lots draw laborers desperate for casual work [or any work]," by Charlier LeDuff, NYT, A18, which states, "Unlike their East Coast counterparts who mill around the doughnut shops in hopes of employment, the West Coast laborers long ago realized that this is not the optimal strategy.... So every morning over the past few years, thousands of men descend upon Home Depot stores from Phoenix to San Diego, Hollywood to San Jose.") -
- Japan: Another bank loss, by Ken Belson, NYT, W1.
A leading Japanese bank, Resona Holdings...will also cut 4,450 jobs, or 21% of its workforce, by 2007....
- State Street will cut 1,000 jobs, WSJ, B3.
...or about 5% of its workforce, largely by closing servicing centers in Jersey City, NJ, and Nashville, Tenn. The move comes in the aftermath of the financial-services concern's recent acquisition of most of Deutsche Bank AG's investment-servicing business. Most of the affected employees used to work for Deutsche Bank....
- Infrastructure unit work force will be reduced, reorganized, Dow Jones via WSJ, A14.
Nokia Corp...will cut 550 jobs from its infrastructure unit, blaming the deepening slump in demand from mobile-telecom operators and growing competition for broadband business.... The jobcuts will come from Nokia's wireless and fixed-line infrastructure operations. The company said it wiill close a broadband-development site in Northern California, transferring some activities and employees to Finland and to another site in California. Nokia...will close a wireless R&D site in Sweden and will reduce the workforce at a development site in the UK. The company will also cease some product-development activities.
- Shell Oil Co., NYT, C4.
...Houston...will move its regional trading and supply operation to its HQ in Houston from Burbank, Calif.
[Unspecified job losses.]
- Brocade Communications Systems loss caused by job-cut costs , Bloomberg via NYT, C7.
...The world's largest maker of switches used in computer data-storage systems had a Q1 loss because of job-cut costs....
[Unspecified job losses.]
2/11/2003 12 downsizings, totaling 12,903 lost jobs + unspecified, reported in Wall Street Journal &/or New York Times - "Oh look, Dick. Look and see. See a great economy downsizing itself unnecessarily." - the particularity of these cuts betrays the arbitrariness of their selection and gives some inkling of how little of this economic devastation is being caught in the NYT and the WSJ - "Oregon State Police" (#5 below) cut 26%? But there are 50 state police forces across the country. This can't be the only force that's shrinking in this way. And what about the city and town police forces?? Do the wealthy really think this kind of devastation is just a drop in the bucket and will have no lasting effect? -
- Goodrich to cut 500 jobs at unit it bought last year, Bloomberg via NYT, C6.
...8% of the workforce in an aircraft-control business it bought in October from TRW, the CFO Marshall Larsen said.
[Again the toxic takeover-downsizing connection.]
The unit had 6200 employees when Goodrich...based in Charlotte NC..\..bought it for $1.5B.... Larsen will become CEO in April.
[The usual B.S. - lookin' for growth with the headsman in charge. They shoulda taken a page from their neighbor in Charlotte, Nucor Steel.]
- VF Corp., Dow Jones via WSJ, A7.
...VF said its 4th-quarter profits improved at nearly every unit due to the restructuring program, which included facilities closings and jobcuts....
[This sounds like there was an unspecified # of layoffs in or near 4Q02, and the only cuts we've heard about were 13,000 cuts(!) in Nov/01, as noted on 1/03/2002 #1.]
- Canada: Miner posts loss, by Bernard Simon, NYT, W1.
...A 3-year-old magnesium plant in Quebec [owned by] the Noranda mining group [and] one of the biggest in the world, has been hit by low prices caused by intensifying competition from China, which exported virtually no magnesium in the early 1990s but now makes up more than half of global supply. The plant is currently being mothballed.
Noranda is a unit of Brascan.
2/08-10/2003 5 downsizings, totaling 12,394 lost jobs, reported in Wall Street Journal &/or New York Times
- States, cities lay off workers as revenue falls, by Kris Maher, WSJ, A17.
...Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has proposed cutting nearly 3,000 positions in his state.
[We won't count them cuz they're just 'proposed' and they're not in the middle of a bloodbath that makes such proposals easier to approve, like Connecticut, below. However -]
California has said it will eliminate 10,000 vacant positions and lay off 1,500 workers, with more cuts possible....
[10000 vacant positions + 1500 filled positions = 11,500 jobs cut, of which we've only counted the 1500 on
1/11-13/2003 #3, so all we must count now are the 10,000 job openings that just got closed.]
- States, cities lay off workers as revenue falls, by Kris Maher, WSJ, A17.
..Budgets are still winding their way through legislatures and city councils, so many governments haven't settled on a final number. According to a survey released last week by the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures, which said state budget gaps were growing "at an alarming rate," 8 states have initiated layoffs this year.
Connecticut, for example, has issued about 3,000 layoff notices, and could send out some 850 more by the end of June....
[Let's count'em now if they're getting that specific - 3000+850= 3,850 cuts of which we've just caught 2,500 back on 1/18-20/2003 #1 below, leaving 3850-2500= 1,350 cuts to count now.]
- States, cities lay off workers as revenue falls, by Kris Maher, WSJ, A17.
...Tens of thousands of workers in state and municipal governments will soon find themselves..\..laid off.... More than 40 states and countless local governments are confronting the worst budget crisis since World War II [except this one is TOTALLY artificial, caused by big-baby Americans' ignorance of the fact that relative to the rest of the developed world, they pay some of the lowest taxes going. And by the way, the taxes weren't all that high on ordinary income during WW2 - just on astronomical income that was so concentrated since the 1920s that it couldn't be spent in 100s of lifetimes - and that concentration and Failure to Spend was the root and source of The Great Depression. Hence the steeply graduated income taxes of WW2 were a backup part of the grim War Prosperity - the main course being even grimmer = labor shortage, which centrifuged income flows from those who already had so much they only had time to hoard it, to those who all through the Depression had too little to spend enough to keep the economy buzzing.]
...primarily due to a drop in tax revenue on the heels of the stock market plunge.
[The wealthy are at great pains to blame "an Act of God." As if they had nothing to do with the bubble in Internet stocks. They literally had so much money coming in thanks to the leverage-lashing labor surplus that there was nowhere else that could absorb it as fast as stocks - so guess where they put it. Remember those astonishingly unprecedented P/E ratios throughout the 1990s, especially during the second half? The wealthy had dismantled so many of the centrifuge mechanisms in the economy, starting with the Dems' 1963 dilution of the wartime graduated income tax, that the dough may have trickled down but it was roaring, pouring, gushing up - to them. They created the crisis and now they complain about it, all innocence - and ignorance.]
Many are warning that jobs will be cut or privatized to close the gaping budget gaps.
[Yes the wealthy have turned the economy into the Roman Colisseum, where they can tut-tut and discuss the troubles and anxiety of the middle and lower classes - while watching for manifestations of any behavior they can shout "class warfare! unfair in America!" at. Never mind how quick they are to talk about "the investor class" - i.e., themselves. "Ooh, how exciting. The poor middle class is getting laid off in DROVES and is suffering sooo horribly!"]
As Springfield, Mass., mayor Michael Albano, who is eliminating 400 jobs, said at a news conference recently, "I've never seen anything like this."...
[Well his grandad did - it was called the Great Depression.]
- America West to shut its hub in Ohio, by Melanie Trottman with Sonoko Setaishi, WSJ, D4.
...which has...suffered from increased competition \and\ been plagued with $25m in annual losses, cutting off the carrier's attempt to establish a greater presence in the East Coast. The moves come as the America West Holdings Corp. unit seeks to stem losses and cut costs amid the current travel-industry recession.... [It] plans to phase out 12 regional jets. The decision will affect 400 Columbus-based employees who will be offered transfers to other positions....
[Other "positions" would be less of a problem but this will actually be "other locations."]
AmWest has 49 daily departures from Columbus to 15 destinations. From early April to mid-June, the carrier will downsize to 4 mainline flights daily to Phoenix and Las Vegas....
- States, cities lay off workers as revenue falls, by Kris Maher, WSJ, A17.
...The cuts threaten services, some workers say. Last month, when 286 workers were cut from the Oregon State Police, out of a staff of 1,108...
[So this cut is 286/1108x100%= 26% of the total workforce.]
...the agency was left with only one expert to examine ballistics. "It's hard to try to explain how crazy that is," says Katie Harding...who was laid off from her $27,000-a-year position as a lab technician. Just last month, Ms. Harding, who studies ballistic markings on bullets and shell casings, was able to link two homicides for the first time in her career.
- New York arts being cut back in money pinch...- Money squeeze is pinching arts groups in New York - An economic engine, choked for fuel, begins to cough and sputter, by Robin Pogrebin, NYT, front page & C22.
...The American Museum of Natural History has closed on Sat. nights, cut its $130m budget by $14m, reduced the number of entrances to 2 from 7; and through attrition reduced its 1,700-member staff by 200....
Michael Bloomberg is considered...the most arts-friendly mayor in at least a decade. But he recently proposed an additional reduction of 6.2% in the cultural budget, bringing the total cutback to nearly 18% for fiscal year 2003. ...On the state level, Gov. George Pataki recently proposed cuts of 15% to the NY State Council on the Arts, and Gov. James McGreevey of New Jersey outlined a new budget that suspends all grants to arts groups. Some city experts said cultural institutions were merely coming down from the high of the flush 90s, when many of them ballooned in size. "They're not facing Armageddon," said Mitchell Moss, director of the Taub Urban Research Center at NY University. "They went on an expansionary binge and now they have to be prudent."...
Arts executive argue that the city's cultural health affects its general health because the arts are an economic engine and provide jobs....
- States, cities lay off workers as revenue falls, by Kris Maher, WSJ, A17.
...In all, as many as 150,000 state and local employees could lose their jobs over the next several years, or roughly 10% of the 1.5m such workers added since 1998, estimates Adrian Moore, VP of research at Reason Public Policy Institute, a Los Angeles think tank. The cuts could presage a major shift in the way workers view jobs in state and local government, which had been steadily expanding since the 1930s. Many of these positions offer generous pay and benefits as well as union protection. There are currently about 18.6m state and local government workers, compared with 2.6m federal employees, and the latter group actually shrank during the 1990s as jobs were privatized and politicians saw political benefits in restricting the number of federal workers. Meanwhile, the number of state and municipal employees grew by nearly 20% during the flush 1990s.
That is now changing. Paul Light, a professor of public service at NY University, notes..."What Bill Clinton showed was that if you can say your government workforce is smaller than when you got there, you can raise taxes and increase revenues and get away with it."...
Such changes can damage employees' confidence [and consumers' confidence! - ed.], says Mollie Anderson, director of Iowa's Dept. of Personnel. "In Iowa, we feel that when you take away a person's security, their ability to be productive is sometimes negatively affected." Last year, the state laid off 198 employees, and Ms. Anderson said more layoffs could come in the fiscal year beginning July 1....
- New York arts being cut back in money pinch - Staffs are reduced and exhibitions dropped, by Robin Pogrebin, NYT, front page.
NYC has seen its rich cultural offerings seriously diminished by a weak economy, a drop in tourism, city budget cuts and a decline in private contributions following 9/11/01. Museums, theaters, concert halls, opera companies, public gardens and zoos throughout the 5 boroughs are cutting performances, exhibitions, days of operation and staff members. This is only the beginning, arts executives say....
The Metropolitan Museum of Art...has temporarily closed some galleries, raised its suggested admission by 20% to $12, reduced its staff by about 40 from its 2,300 [level] and, to increase revenue, introduced a $50 admission to blockbuster shows for members on Mondays, when the Museum is usually closed.... Said Philippe de Montebello, the Met's director, "We will do what needs done."... [huh? - sic]
Many cultural institutions have already learned to live without city money [good!] and rely much more heavily on donations from foundations, corporations and individuals.
[Fine! We are a lot more comfortable with private support than public support for matters of taste rather than necessity. These are all, after all, rather more egregious cases of makework (see especially #22).]
In the 1980s the Metropolitan Museum received 30% of its funding from the city, for example; now it gets 10%.
[An improvement indeed, say we!]
...Said David McKinney, president of the Museum, "So we're bearing more and more of the burden and have to pick it up and the private sector is unable to pick it up."
[Unable or unwilling. These institutions and installations reflect the tastes of the wealthy, and are really only sustainable when the wealthy pay for them. In some periods, the wealthy behind each American city had an "arms race" to see which city could field the widest panoply of museums, symphony orchestras and metropolitan opera houses - but those were the days before the wealthy got cheap.]
Gifts to the Met of $100,000-$1,000,000, especially, are expected to diminish, Mr. McKinney said.
[Our hearts bleed.]
Because of the stock market decline, philanthropic giving is in a downward spiral.
[Ah, the wealthy do love to portray the stock market decline as an Act of God over which they are utterly powerless, as if their countless invisible dismantlings of the centrifugal forces on the national income over the decades since World War II had nothing to do with it, dismantlings such as the general conversion from graduated income taxes to flat and capped social security taxes and from taxes on unearned (investment) income to earned income via the imposition of sales taxes and the introduction of government-sponsored gambling. America is writing a textbook on how to destroy your economy. If you punish your consumer base enough, it doesn't matter how oceanic and infinite it looks when you start, sooner or later the effects will tell and it will weaken, as now.]
Real or not, said Ms. [Kate] Levin, the cultural affairs commissioner, New Yorkers feel strapped. "The phrase people are using is 'psychic poverty,' " Ms. Levin said, "the sense that 'I feel poor,' even though that may not be the case."... "People are looking at their 401Ks and feeling the pressure," said Joseph Volpe, general manager of the [Metropolitan] Opera.
\However, Ms. Levin\ said the city's arts institutions had made out fairly well, considering the overall economic situation.... Gifts to the Metropolitan Opera of less than $25,000 have fallen off, for example, although gifts of more than $25,000 - from people whose finances are less closely tied to the vagaries of the market - have made up for that softness. [But] "it takes a lot of $60 members to make up for a $1 million loss," said Ms. [Karen] Hopkins of the Brooklyn Academy [of Music]....
- New York arts being cut back in money pinch..., by Robin Pogrebin, NYT, front page, C22.
...The NY Botanical Garden in the Bronx has reduced its staff size by 5% from 470 employees....
[So 23.5, say 24 jobcuts.]
- New York arts being cut back in money pinch..., by Robin Pogrebin, NYT, front page.
...The Bronx Museum of the Arts canceled 2 exhibitions last year and has eliminated 4 management positions. "Last year we killed programs," said Jenny Dixon, the exec. dir. "This year we're killing people."...
- New York arts being cut back in money pinch..., by Robin Pogrebin, NYT, front page.
...The Brooklyn Academy of Music has eliminated one opera for next season, laid off [one] senior executive and expects to cut its $27m budget by nearly $3m next year....
- Cablevision Systems to sell or close all Wiz stores, AP via NYT, C4.
...just months after announcing a plan to revitalize its lagging consumer electronics business.... The company, based in Bethpage NY...expected to decide the fate of the 17 stores by summer. The company closed 26 stores last autumn as part of a plan to improve profitability.... The Wiz stores are in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.
Bankruptcy court approves liquidation of  Wiz stores, Bloomberg via 3/28/2003 NYT, C4.
(not counting non-WSJ/NYT-reported items such as -
- 18 lost jobs at MSM Industries of Mass. according to "Program helps firms avert layoffs," by Alan Earls, 2/09/2003 Boston Globe, G1
- unspecified layoffs per "Charlestown MA - For townies, a family passing - Last Catholic school to shut, a reflection of neighborhood changes," by Jeff Lemberg, 2/09/2003 Boston Globe, City 1, which states, "...The decision to close 3 Boston schools [including the one in Charlestown] at the end of this academic year was based on several factors, including the church's poor financial standing after 2 years of clergy sexual abuse lawsuits, as well as continually shrinking enrollments at each of the schools."
- citywide story, "A crush of applicants - Low employment and high anxiety," op ed by Bob Herbert, 2/10/2003 NYT, A27, which states, "Huge...traffic jams began building up on the North Side of Chicago last Tuesday morning...caused by people desperate for jobs. Rumors that job applications for a Ford assembly plant would be accepted at a community college had swept through several of the city's neighborhoods. Chicagoans by the thousands responded, turning out in bitterly cold weather for a shot at gainful employment."
- a downsizee-arming idea, "You're invited to an unemployment shower - Send-off showers honoree with tools to face job search," by Sharron Luttrell, 2/09/2003 Boston Globe, G9, which starts, "When I learned recently that my job was eliminated [after] I'd been happily employed for nearly two decades,...with all of the technological changes that had occurred since 1986, I suspected I'd need a user guide to conduct my job search." ) -
2/07/2003 5 downsizings, totaling 4,873 lost jobs + unspecified, reported in Wall Street Journal &/or New York Times
(not counting regional "Cities lose jobs," by Jo Napolitano, NYT, A17, which states, "Chicago led the nation is lost jobs last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. The city lost 57,400 jobs, more than half of them in manufacturing.... New York City was second, with 45,100, and Detroit was third, with 39,000.") -
- 2/08 German Bank [Deutsche Bank] is showing mixed results - ...Bonuses and more than 11,000 jobs were cut last year, by Mark Landler, NYT, B3.
Deutsche Bank, which has its HQ in Frankfurt, is the largest bank in Germany. [photo caption]
[The 11,000 NYT figure is more modest than the 13,000 figure presented last June and far more modest than the figure in the following WSJ story that includes this year as well -]
2/10 Deutsche Bank's net doubled in 2002 but missed forecasts, by Elizabeth Souder, 2/10/2003 WSJ, C9.
...By the end of 2003, the bank expects to have cut 14,470 staff, or 7% of the workforce.
[So far we've only counted 4000 cuts on 6/28/2002 #3, and 620 on 5/01/2002 #2 for a total of 4000+620= 4,620 cuts last year and so far this year. So we still need to count 14470-4620= 8,090 jobcuts. We left the bank with a workforce of 37,600 on 12/29/2001 #1, but rereading that story, that was based on 40,000 corporate and investment-bank employees only, a mere fraction of the whole. The current story says 14470 is 7% of the workforce, which would make the grand total at the end of 2001, 14470/7x100= 206,714. That means that after all 14,470 cuts, the bank will have 206714-14470= 192,244 employees. And then the currently counted 8090 cuts will be 8090/(192244+8090)= 4% of the total, immediately pre-this-cut workforce. At any rate, DB is behaving like the most destructive kind of company, by cutting jobs and downstream markets despite a profit position., virtually guaranteeing deeper recession.]
- 2/10 Cigna Corp. - Net dropped 75% for quarter amid increasing medical costs, Dow Jones via WSJ, B5.
...and $100m of expenses from recent jobcuts.... In October, the company cut earnings projections for 2003 and announced plans to eliminate 3,900 jobs.
[The only announcement we saw last year was of 2000 cuts in January - on 1/10/2002 #5.]
- 2/08 Agrilink Foods to close 6 processing plants, Bloomberg via NYT, B4.
...The maker of Birds Eye vegetables [will] close 6 frozen-vegetable processing plants...in Barker NY, Bridgeville DE, Green Bay WI, Oxnard CA, Uvalde TX, and Montezuma GA..\..and lay off about 260 employees to cut costs.... The processing plants will be closed over the next several months.... Work will move to other plants in Wisconsin, California and New York. Agrilink also said it is was changing its name to Birds Eye on Feb. 10....
- 2/08 United Parcel Service to lay off 100 pilots by the fall, AP via NYT, B4.
...the Independent Pilots Assoc. [IPA] said yesterday. According to Capt. Bob Miller the president of the Louisville-based IPA, 19 pilots were given 30-day notices [so far]. ...The company [is] looking to complete the process by Sept..\.. A spokesman for the company, Mark Giufre, said..."The more modern aircraft only require two pilots. The older aircraft needed three pilots and that has created a surplus for us."...
[Again, where now are the simpletons who chant, "Technology creates more jobs than it destroys"???]
United Parcel cancels plans to lay off 100 pilots, Reuters via 3/07/2003 NYT, C4.
[planned on 2/08-10/2003 #4, but they're still losing the jobs (oops, guess we're counting these babies twice) because -]
...enough pilots voluntarily agreed to quit or take leaves of absence....
- Goldman Sachs plans to lay off about 20% of its 220 options traders, by Kopin Tan, Dow Jones via WSJ, B8.
...in its options-specialist and market-making business, as shrinking profit margins continue to take their toll on the options-trading industry....
[Meaning 44 jobcuts. "Shrinking profit margins" - wasn't that what Marx predicted as the agent of capitalism's Goetterdaemmerung? See previous story of 150 last-year layoffs on 2/04 #3.]
2/06/2003 3 downsizings, totaling 10,338 lost jobs + unspecified, reported in Wall Street Journal &/or New York Times
(not counting economywide "Hiring in nation hits worst slump in nearly 20 years - Layoffs despite 'growth' [our quotes - ed.] - Surge in number of workers who have stopped looking for jobs since summer," by David Leonhardt, NYT, front page, and "For jobless taxpayers, the next nasty surprise may come on April 15," by Jane Kim, WSJ, D2) -
- France: Airline grounded, by Kerry Shaw, NYT, W1.
France's 2nd-largest airline, Air Lib [ad lib's cousin?] lost its operating license and was forced to ground all its planes after a Dutch investment company, IMCA, declined to invest in the airline. Gilles de Robien, the transport minister [and father of the timesizing Robien Law?], said that the French government would try to find jobs for the carrier's 3,200 employees, but left the company's fate in the hands of the commercial court, which could place the airline in liquidation or receivership....
- Robert Bosch, NYT, C4.
...Stuttgart, Germany, a maker of auto parts, [will] close an unprofitable factory in Kentwood, Mich., by the end of the year and eliminate more than 1,200 jobs.
[Bosch is one of the great modern practitioners of apprenticeship, a rather inflexible practice for today.]
- Kentucky Electric Steel, NYT, C4.
...Ashland, Ky. [has] filed for Chapter 11 [and] closed its remaining steel-making plant in Kentucky, laying off 326 workers....
- Terra Networks dismisses 22% of U.S. workforce, Bloomberg via NYT, C3.
...Spain's largest Internet company cut 22% of its U.S. workforce yesterday to reduce costs, fueling speculation that the company may sell its Lycos unit.... Terra is eliminating 147 jobs, including 101 in its office in Waltham, Mass.... It also trimmed jobs in New York and San Francisco. This is the second time in 5 months that Terra has cut its American workforce as it scales back its operations after spending $6.5B to buy Lycos in 2000.
[Missed that other cutback. Again the toxic takeover-downsizing connection. What a dumb move, eh? $6½ BILLION for a company in a new-technology area in another country. What are these guys using for brains?]
- Newell Rubbermaid, NYT, C4.
...Freeport IL, the housewares maker [will] move its headquarters to Atlanta....
[Quite a long commute - unspecified lost jobs.]
2/05/2003 2 downsizings, totaling 367 lost jobs, reported in Wall Street Journal &/or New York Times -
- Bank of America Corp., Dow Jones via WSJ, A12.
...will slash about 1,000 jobs in technology and operations during the 1st quarter, in a new round of cuts that follows the elimination of about 900 jobs in tech and ops in Nov and Dec. The Charlotte NC bank cut about 8,726 jobs last year, or 6.1% of its total workforce. The total number of employees stood at 133,944 at the end of last year.... After the latest job reductions are complete - Bank of America already has eliminated 225 of the 1,000 positions - the total tech and ops workers will be 20,000, down from 22,000 in Nov.
[Hmm, this year-end figure is slightly higher than the 133,235 given before on 11/20/2002 #3. Putting this later figure together with "143,824 at the end of Sept/2001" also mentioned in the same article, we should have counted 143824-133944= 9,880 jobcuts over that period and we've only counted
990 on 10/25/2001 #4,
450 on 10/14/2002 #1,
7 on 11/13/2002 #4, and
900 on 11/20/2002 #3,
for a grand total of 2,347 cuts, meaning we still have to count 9880-2347= 7,533 cuts from the period 9/2001-12/2002. Now they're telling us 1,000 more in Q1, but we've already counted 195 cuts back on 1/29/2003 #3, which we will conservatively regard as overlapping. Therefore for this year so far, we must count 1000-195= 805. So the total of cuts we need to count now is 7533+805= 8,338 jobcuts, or 8338/133944= 6% of the pre-this-amount total.]
- Circuit City profit to fall short, by Gary McWilliams, WSJ, B4.
...The Richmond VA concern...will cut 2,000 jobs, or 4.8% or its 42,000 full- and part-time staffers....
Retailer's net declines 53% on loss of CarMax earnings, Dow Jones via 4/03/2003 WSJ, B2.
Circuit City Stores Inc...in February dismissed 3,900 of 16,000 commissioned sales staff and hired 2,100 hourly workers....
[For a net loss of 3900-2100= 1,800 jobs, which the above overcounts by 200, which, considering the number of unspecified downsizings on these pages, is no big deal.]
- Computer Associates acquires Netreon Inc., Bloomberg via NYT, C3.
...to increase sales.... Most of Netreon's 22 employees, who are based in Mountain View CA will join Computer Assocs....
[but not all, so unspecified jobcuts.]
2/04/2003 6 downsizings, totaling 13,150 lost jobs + unspecified, reported in Wall Street Journal &/or New York Times -
- L.L. Bean says it will reduce its work force by 300, AP via NYT, C4.
...from its workforce of 4,300 [so, 7%]. The company said that it had a solid financial year in 2002 but that the cuts were "needed" to remain competitive. [our quotes - ed]
[Again, if American CEOs can't discover a way to remain competitive without inflicting individually tiny but cumulatively mounting wounds on their own consumer base, they will suffer the same fate as dumb parasites that eventually kill their hosts and die. The obvious and safe alternative to jobcuts are hourscuts and maintained employment and markets. Remaining somebody's idea of "competitive" is not going to work without markets, and markets don't exist without employment.]
Declining prices in the retail apparel sector [because of weak markets], annual wage increases [well, CEOs expect them, don't they] and increasing healthcare costs [thanks to American malpractice litigiousness and no caps] put pressure on operating margins.
- Law firms merge or close, caught in economy's vise, by Jonathan Glater, NYT, C1.
Law firms, commonly seen as islands of security and stability to their employees, are proving vulnerable to the turbulence in the economy.... On Monday, Skjerven Morrill, a 67-lawyer firm in San Jose CA, specializing in intellectual property law, announced that it would dissolve....
2/01/2003 1 downsizing, totaling 180 lost jobs, reported in Wall Street Journal &/or New York Times -
- Ericsson says losses widened in the 4th quarter, by Suzanne Kapner, NYT, W1.
...The largest maker of mobile phone equipment...lost 8.3B [Swedish] kroner ($969m)..\.. Mobile phone makers have been caught between consumers reluctant to buy new handset models and operators curtailing investments to preserve cash.... Ericsson...eliminated 7,100 jobs in the 4th quarter, reducing its total staff to 64,600. The company...expect[s] to eliminate another 4,600 jobs in 2003.
[So now they expect to wind up with 60,000 total staff, whereas on 4/23/2002 #1, they just wanted to come down to 65,000. Well, each downsizing is always "the last" - until there's another ... because they each just contribute to the general shrinking of consumer markets. And at 64,600, Ericsson is already below the 65,000 mark. To make a long story short, the April article tells us they started at the end of Y2K with 107,000 employees, and today's article tells us they now want to cut to 60,000. That means they want altogether 107000-60000= 47,000 jobcuts. Of these, we have so far counted only 22,000 in 2001 (10/26/2001 #3) and 17,000 in 2002 (4/23/2002 #1) for a total of 22000+17000= 39,000. So now we still have to count 47000-39000= 8,000 more jobcuts here, which will be 8000/(60000+8000)= 12% of their total pre-cut workforce.]
- New job cuts to total 5,000 in struggle to exit Chapter 11, WSJ, B8.
...in the latest round of cost reductions. [The] layoffs will come primarily from corporate and administrative functions..\.. WorldCom Inc., Clinton, Miss...has about 60,000 workers after cutting 17,000 jobs last year. WorldCom filed for Chapter 11...in July after disclosing a $9B accounting fraud, the biggest in US corporate history....
- Chief of Goldman Sachs Group apologizes for remarks on firm's productivity - Running up against the notion that 'we're all in this together', by Patrick McGeehan, NYT, C1, c10.
...Answering a question at an investment conference in Manhattan on Jan. 28..\..Henry Paulson Jr...Goldman's chairman and CEO [said] "In almost every one of our businesses, there are 15 or 20% of the people that really add 80% of the value [despite Goldman's] hiring the best and the brightest and urging them to pull together to serve corporate clients. \He was] suggesting that most of the highly paid employees...seemed expendable.... Mr. Paulson, who gave the opening presentation to a group of institutional investors that day, then went on to say that if market conditions worsened, "we will take more people out" of the firm. Goldman eliminated 2,900 jobs, or about 13% of its staff, last year....
[And we only counted 2750 on 11/06/2002 #1 and 'unspecified' on 5/03/2002 #5, leaving us with 2900-2750= 150 jobcuts to count now.]
- Revamp includes closing stores, selling credit-card operation, Dow Jones via WSJ, D7.
Gottschalks Inc...the Fresno CA retailer..\..plans to close 6 under-performing stores...in the Pacific Northwest..\..as part of a financial repositioning plan....
- Food company reports changes at top and in strategy, Reuters via NYT, C4.
Cosi Inc....which operates more than 100..\..coffee and sandwich...shops in 11 states \will\ develop...a franchise program [and] slow a previously announced expansion of company-owned stores.... Cosi [will] take a Q1 charge of $1.7m for severance costs from executive, general and administrative jobcuts.
- Mexico: Americans closing guest ranch, by Tim Weiner, NYT, A8.
[How genteel - these used to be called "dude ranches."]
The American owners of a popular guest ranch in the southern state of Chiapas [are] closing it to tourists because of violent intimidation by Zapatista members of a neighboring community.
The owners, Ellen Jones...and Glen Wersch...are former Peace Corps workers who have operated their Rancho Esmeralda for 8 years. ...Staff members have been assaulted and were the focus of death threats from the neighboring Zapatistas, who have told the Americans that the ranch rightfully belongs to them.
- Dell Computer, NYT, B4.
...Round Rock, Tex., the maker of PCs, plans to eliminate 180 jobs in Germany to reduce costs. Some of the jobs will be moved elsewhere in Europe, and Dell's management team in Germany will remain in place.
Click here for downsizing stories in -
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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