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Downsizings, Feb. 16-28, 2003
[Commentary] ©2003 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 117, Harvard Square, Cambridge MA 02238 USA (617) 623-8080

2/28/2003   3 downsizings, totaling 1,006 lost jobs + unspecified, cited in Wall Street Journal &/or NY Times
(not counting statewide "New York asks for federal help in paying state jobless claims - Loans that were to last through March will not be enough," by Leslie Eaton, NYT, A26, and economywide "No relief in sight - The economic pain goes on and on," op ed by Paul Krugman, NYT, A29, which ends, "I almost feel sorry for Mr. Mankiw [Bush's new chief economic adviser], who I suspect has no idea what he's getting into.... But on second thought, I'll save my sympathy for the 2 million people who have lost their jobs over the past 2 years, and are not likely to find new ones any time soon.") -

  1. AXA to buy computer services in deal valued at $1B, Dow Jones via WSJ, C13.
    ...In a separate development, IBM said it sent layoff notices to nearly 1,000 people in its global services and software groups in the U.S. The company said layoffs reflected "skills rebalancing."
    [Back when it was still intelligent and in an industry-leader position, IBM rebalanced skills by retraining people, not mass-firing them without cause and demoralizing their entire workforce.]
    Last year, IBM, which currently has about 320,000 workers, laid off 15,000 workers as the computer and semiconductor markets weakened.
    [1000 is 1000/320000= 0.3% of total workforce. But that 15,000 is an extremely conservative figure, since we counted up to 15,600 on 8/14/2002 alone, and that's without mentioning the 2800 on 10/23/2002 #1.]

  2. Goldman Sachs makes more cuts in its research department - 6 analysts laid off in key coverage areas - New rules and weak markets are straining analysis operations, by Landon Thomas Jr., NYT, C2.

  3. Low-fare airline planned, along with layoffs, wage cuts, Dow Jones via WSJ, C13.
    Following the lead of larger but equally troubled airlines, Midwest Express Holdings Inc...the Milwaukee-based parent of premium-service Midwest Airlines and commuter carrier Midwest Connect..\..intends to reduce capacity by 12%, lay off 13% of its workforce, imposed wage reductions on nonunion employees and start a low-fare airline to serve leisure destinations.
    [Unspecified jobcuts. Compare Midwest's 250 cuts on 9/13/2002 #3 but no total workforce given so we still can't quantify these new cuts.]

2/27/2003   2 downsizings, totaling 1,800 lost jobs, cited in Wall Street Journal &/or NY Times
(not counting Boston-Globe-only "Layoffs, new fees in [Gov.] Romney budget - Says $2.17B would be saved in restructuring," by Rick Klein, BG, front page, which states, "The plan would result in layoffs of about 2,000 [Ma.] state employees, about 3% of the workforce.") -
  1. Romney's campus plan would cut deficit, and a political foe, by Fox Butterfield, NYT, A24.
    ...A spokesman for the University of Massachusetts, Robert P. Connolly,...said it appeared that..\..Gov. Mitt Romney...hoped to reduce state aid to higher education in Massachusetts by $300m a year, largely by raising tuition and fees for students. In addition, he said, it would mean layoffs of 1,400 [or 11%] of the 13,000 employees just at the 5 university campuses. [Romney] also would eliminate UMass Pres. William ["Billy"] Bulger's $309,000-a-year job and his $14m office budget....
    [Many believe that Billy Bulger has been withholding information that would result in the apprehension of his mobster brother Whitey Bulger, dat derefore boids of a feddah are flockin' togeddah, and that therefore he may not be the example for our young people that the presidency of our state university would seem to require.]

  2. Dutch carrier will be shut for a month after Ryanair buys it, by Brian Lavery, NYT, W1.
    DUBLIN - ...The low-budget Irish airline [will] ground all flights at Buzz, the ailing discount carrier it recently agreed to acquire from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, for one month once the acquisition is completed in April. If it decides to restart Buzz's operations in May, Ryanair will dismiss up to 400 of Buzz's staff of 600, drop 12 of its 24 flight routes, and sell 4 of its 12 planes....
    [So 400 employees are toast, and maybe all 600. Again, the toxic takeover-downsizing connection.]
2/26/2003   6 downsizings, totaling 21,150 lost jobs, cited in Wall Street Journal &/or NY Times -
  1. Venezuela's lifeblood ebbs even as it flows, by Juan Forero, NYT, C1.
    ...Petroleos de Venezuela has lost $4B in exports and nearly 16,000 workers, fired by the government for taking part in a walkout aimed at debilitating Pres. Hugo Chavez's left-leaning government. That financial blow and the loss of workers with, on average, 17 years of experience, could permanently hobble the company, keeping it from assuming its role as a leading world oil provider, analysts here and abroad say....

  2. Big grocery distributor will cut 1,800 jobs, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    The Fleming Cos...based in Lewisville TX..\..will have pretax costs of about $290m to cut about 15% of its workforce, close distribution centers and write down inventory after ending a contract to supply Kmart. ...Jobs w[ill] be cut in Lewisville and Oklahoma City. The SEC \has\ formalaized an accounting investigation [and] is reviewing the accounting for payments to suppliers....

  3. Credit Suisse reports loss of $2.4B [3.3B Swiss francs] - Big bank planning to cut 1,250 jobs, by Alison Langley, NYT, W1.
    ...to try to get back to profitability. It was the largest 1-year loss in the bank's history, analysts said.... Some 950m francs ($700m) of the damage at Credit Suisse came in the 4th quarter....

  4. Sara Lee to cut 1,200 jobs in Puerto Rico, AP via NYT, C4.
    ...as it scales back at 3 plants...that make underwear.... The continuing pressures of a weak economy and an intensely competitive atmosphere leave us no other option but to make this difficult decision," Rafael Rodriguez, Sara Lee Intimate Apparel's VP for operations in the Caribbean, said. The jobcuts affect plants that produce Playtex products in the towns of Dorado, Humacao and Vega Baja. The company [will] continue operations in other textile divisions in Puerto Rico. In 2001, Sara Lee, based in Chicago, eliminated about 3,900 jobs on the island.

  5. Switzerland: Airline to cut 700 jobs, by Alison Langley, NYT, W1.
    The successor to Swissair, Swiss International Air Lines, [will] retire 20 planes as it struggles for existence...because of a drop in overall travel [and] cut-rate competition in short-haul flights. Most of the planes being retired are regional carriers. The company, which grew out of Swissair's former regional subsidiary Crossair, also said it no longer expected to reach its goal of breaking even this year. Swiss International began operations last June with the help of the government and some companies. The government said the cuts...were necessary, given the grave condition of the economy and the tenuous global security situation.

  6. Autodesk Inc., Dow Jones via WSJ, B12.
    ...The company cut costs and dismissed hundreds of employees in the period.
    [So that's at least 200 jobcuts of which we've only heard an unspecified figure on 8/16/2002 #2.]

2/25/2003   5 downsizings, totaling 3,010 lost jobs + unspecified, cited in Wall Street Journal &/or NY Times -
  1. Axel Springer Verlag AG, Dow Jones via WSJ, D5.
    ...The publisher of Germany's best-selling daily, Bild-Zeitung..\..swung to a profit for 2002 after a loss a year earlier, as its restructuring efforts started to pay off.... CEO Mathias Doepfner has slashed jobs and sold units....
    [The only thing we've seen about this firm was an uncounted AP story about 1400 cuts on 11/02/2001, which is probably the basis of this jobslash mention. So we'll count them now they've been alluded to in the NY Times.]

  2. Strong domestic rivalry cited behind forecast of wider loss, Dow Jones via WSJ, D5.
    All Nippon Airways [ANA], Japan's 2nd-largest carrier, warned that because of intense domestic competition it expects its full fiscal-year loss to be much wider than its earlier forecast.... ANA officials also said the airline would cut 1,200 jobs and 30B yen in costs by March 2006 and slash an additional 10B yen in costs during the same period by maximizing passenger loads on its small airplanes and reducing leasing costs.

  3. Ireland: Bank merges units, Bloomberg via NYT, W1.
    The Bank of Ireland will merge its 2 British financial advisory businesses and cut almost half the combined workforce as declines in the stock markete deter investors from saving. The company [will] merge Chase de Vere Investments and MX Financial Solutions and reduce their combined workforces by 350 jobs.
    [Again, the lethal merger-downsizing connection.]

  4. Two agencies shut their doors, by Sean Mehegan, NYT, C4.
    Two agencies have closed because of the struggling economy, consolidation among clients and the losses of large accounts.
    One agency is Hampel/Stefanides in New York, which was shut by its parent, the Envoy Communications Group in Toronto, after 10 years in business. At one point recently, Hampel/Stefanides had 60 employees and billings estimated at $100m, but it lost accounts like CDnow.com, Castrol Worldwide and National Discount Brokers....

  5. Two agencies shut their doors, by Sean Mehegan, NYT, C4.
    ...Another agency that closed is HDC in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., formerly Harris Drury Cohen, which had been in business since 1980....
    [Unspecified lost jobs.]

2/22-24/2003   4 downsizings, totaling 4,139 lost jobs, cited in Wall Street Journal &/or NY Times
(not counting bulletted industrywide stories -
  1. 2/22   Agilent Technologies plans to cut 4,000 more jobs, Reuters via NYT, B4
    ...A leading manufacturer of scientific instruments and analysis equipment \will\ cut 11% of its workforce, amid a slump in the chip equipment industry and uncertainty about the timing of an economic recovery. The company...said the jobcuts were an effort to return to profitability later this year after 7 straight quarterly losses. The announcement came as Agilent...lost $369m...in Q1, compared with a loss of $315m...a year earlier. Revenue fell to $1.41B from $1.43.

  2. 2/22   Ralcorp Holdings, NYT, B4.
    ...St. Louis, the largest maker of store-brand cereals and crackers in the U.S., [will] close a bakery that employs about 79 people in Kent, Wash., by the end of June....

  3. 2/22   California: Newspaper cuts most of staff, AP via NYT, A12.
    The publishers of the daily San Francisco Examiner laid off most of its staff but planned to continue publishing. James Fang, the son of the publisher, Florence Fang, said the Examiner would publish as scheduled on Monday with a staff of 2 or 3 reporters, several laid-off employees said. The paper has about 40 employees. The Fangs took control of the paper from the Hearst Corp. in November 2000
    [again the toxic takeover-downsizing connection]
    in a deal that helped Hearst gain antitrust approval of its $660m purchase of the much-larger San Francisco Chronicle.
    [Who cares about employees - they're just incidental. Who cares about joblessness, sliding consumer demand, recession? Merge more, cut more, let's see if we can create a regular depression! Here's the WSJ's headline -]
    2/24   San Francisco Examiner - Publishers fire most of staff, to begin offering free paper, Dow Jones via WSJ, B4.

  4. 2/24   Genelabs Technologies Inc., Dow Jones via WSJ, B4.
    ...The biopharmaceutical concern \in\ Redwood City, Calif., plans to lay off 20 workers, or about 20% of its workforce....

2/21/2003   3 downsizings, totaling 1,084 lost jobs + unspecified, cited in Wall Street Journal &/or NY Times -
  1. Ethan Allen to close 3 plants and lay off 584 workers, Reuters via NYT, C3.
    ...The furniture maker and retailer...based in Danbury CT \will\ close...smaller plants...in Dudley MA, Mayville NY and Union City PA.... Production will be picked up mostly by the company's 14 other plants, all in the U.S....

  2. Buyer is sought for chip lines as part of plan to boost profit, Dow Jones via WSJ, B8.
    National Semiconductor Corp. plans to step off the technology-advancement treadmill known as Moore's Law, as part of a restructuring plan to improve its jprofitability....
    [So, it's already profitable.]
    Also, National Semiconductor plans to reduce its workforce by about 5%, or 500 employees....
    [But it's going to do layoffs anyway. This company enters our Corporate Dufus Gallery of Recovery Blockers.]
    Its workforce could be reduced by another 500 workers if it succeeds in selling the two lines....

  3. Ingram Micro posts $10.3m loss, Bloomberg via NYT, C5.
    ...Distribut[or of] computer parts...had costs after taxes of $39.5m to pay for job cuts and the closing of operations in a program intended to generate $160m in annualized operating income....
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

2/20/2003   3 downsizings, totaling 10,150 lost jobs, cited in Wall Street Journal &/or NY Times -
  1. Trailer factory to close, Bloomberg via NYT, C3.
    Fleetwood Enterprises, a leading maker of mobile homes, [will] close a factory in Lumberton, NC, next month because of falling sales. As many as 95 people will be laid off when the plant closes on Mar.3, and 15-20 employees will be allowed to transfer to a factory in Pembroke NC.... Fleetwood has closed 17 plants and eliminated 7,000 jobs since May 1999, when manufactured-housing sales began falling.
    [We have never counted a laid-off soul from Fleetwood before, so we'll now count the lot.]

  2. Wisconsin: Governor cuts jobs and services, AP via NYT, A21.
    Keeping a campaign promise to not raise taxes to cover a $3.2B shortfall, Gov. James Doyle proposed a budget that cuts 2,900 state jobs, reduces the level of school financing and reduces services.... The state employs about 68,000 people.
    [So, 2900/68000= a 4% downsizing.]

  3. Mapics to cut 23% of work force, Bloomberg via NYT, C5.
    ...A software maker that acquired its rival Frontstep Inc., plans to cut about 250 jobs.... The combined company had about 1,100 workers when the transaction was announced in November, Mapics, based in Alpharetta, Ga., said....
    [Again the toxic takeover-downsizing connection.]

2/19/2003   4 downsizings, totaling 8,442 lost jobs, cited in Wall Street Journal &/or NY Times
(not counting city-level story, "With 176,000 jobs lost in 2 years, New York City is in grip of a recession," by Leslie Eaton, NYT, A27, which states, "Ripple effect...is understating it. ...It was more like a tsunami.... Vicki Herschman, who has been jobless since July 2001, says she sends out hundreds of resumes a month [but] has not been able to find a job of any kind," and economy-level story, "Ireland, once a Celtic tiger, slackens its stride - Technology collapse drains a town's [Youghal's] valued jobs," by Alan Cowell, NYT, C1] -
  1. Reuters proposes to cut 3,000 jobs - UK company presents gloomy revenue outlook, plan to refocus on news, by Charles Goldsmith, WSJ, B7.
    ...The 3,000 [additional] jobcuts over 3 years, which will reduce the payroll to around 13,000, come on top of some 2,750 cuts already carried out....
    [Well, let's see. Back on 2/13/2002 #8, Reuters' total workforce was given as 19,000 as of the end of 2001. Now it's going down to 13,000, a drop of 6,000 jobs and so far, we've only counted 200 on 2/13/2002 #8, 650 on 6/21/2002 #1 and unspecified on 11/08/2002 #7, totaling 200+650+??= 850 cuts. That means we must now count 6000-850= 5,150 jobcuts, or 5150/(13000+5150)= a 28% downsizing.]
    [Followup -]
    Reuters Group PLC, Dow Jones via 6/23/2003 WSJ, B8.
    ...In February, Reuters announced a program called Fast Forward, which, largely through 3,000 jobcuts, is designed to save £440m ($730m) annually by 2006.
    [How screwed-up-in-the-head do you have to be to be calling jobcuts "Fast Forward"? More apt would be "Fast Downward".]
    These cuts were in addition to the nearly 3,000 jobs shed during the past couple of years.

  2. Micron Technology Inc. - Work force is to be cut by 10% to adjust for market conditions, Dow Jones via WSJ, D13.
    ...as part of a plan to align its cost structure with current market conditions.
    [Firing and hiring is not "adjusting," it's traumatizing. If they just wanted to "adjust" for market conditions, they'd squeeze and unsqueeze their workweek, not their workforce - a 10% hourscut for everyone, together, the whole team, not a 10% jobcut just for a few - and next year a few more - and after that a few more....]
    The semiconductor maker has about 18,000 employees worldwide....
    [10% of 18,000 is 1,800 jobcuts.]

  3. Waste Management Inc. - Concern posts 49% profit rise and plans to trim its payrolls, Dow Jones via WSJ, D13.
    ...The Houston waste hauler...will trim its workforce by 700 employees, or about 1.3% of its staff, and 270 contract workers in conjunction with its plan to reduce the number of market areas in the U.S. and Canada to 66 from 91.
    [700+270= 970 jobcuts.]
    \It\ posted a 49% surge in its Q4 profit, despite lackluster sales growth....
    [Another company downsizing despite profit and therefore sabotaging economic recovery and guaranteeing even dimmer lackluster sales growth for itself.]

  4. Fidelity Investments employees might not receive merit raise this year, WSJ, D15.
    ...The nation's largest mutual-fund company...which has also laid off employees during the bear market, employed 29,142 at the end of December, down from 31,359 from the year before....
    [Giving us a total of 31359-29142= 2217 cuts last year, of which we only heard about 1695 cuts on 10/10/2002 #1. So we must now count 2217-1695= 522 jobcuts.]

Click here for downsizing stories in -
Jan. 16-31/2002.
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.

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