Timesizing® Associates - HOMEPAGE

Downsizings, Apr. 16-30, 2003
[Commentary] ©2003 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 117, Harvard Square, Cambridge MA 02238 USA (617) 623-8080


4/30/2003   9 downsizings, totaling 14,430 lost jobs + unspecified, mentioned in Wall St Journal & NY Times -

  1. Ericsson to eliminate 7,000 jobs as losses mount, by Christine Whitehouse, NYT, W1.
    ...Ericsson...has now lost money in 8 consecutive quarters \so\ 7000 more jobs will be eliminated at L. M. Ericsson, half of them in Sweden, as the new CEO tries to make the company small enough to earn profits again in the slumping mobile telephone business.... By the end of 2004, Ericcson expects to employ just 47,000 people.... At its peak, the company had about 100,000 employees.
    Analysts...had been expecting more cutbacks since February, when the company chose Carl-Henric Svanberg, the CEO of Assa Abloy, a lock maker, to be CEO. Mr. Svanberg has built a reputation as a cost-cutter at several companies in Sweden.
    [A veritable Swedish "Chainsaw Dunlap." Assuming that before this 7000 cut, Ericsson had 47000+7000= 54,000 people, this cut is 7000/54000= a 13% downsizing.]
    "He's known as the turnaround guy," said one analyst, who predicted another round of cuts at the end of the year....
    [But do these people really turn anything around? All they know is destruction - destruction of employment, destruction of lives, shrinkage - that is, destruction of the corporation itself. And as everything else shrinks, they alone expand, gathering 'compensation' up to 400-500 times that of the average employee, - gathering so much unspendable spending power that they actually suction the markets away from their own necessarily large investments, thereby shrinking - that is, destroying - the economy they themselves dwell in and depend on. Downsizing must stop, and be changed everywhere and at all times to timesizing, except in cases of corporate extremis immediately prior to liquidation.]

  2. Pfizer to close five research sites, AP via NYT, C4.
    ...and shuffling some operations and employees in an effort to reorganize and cut costs after its $57B acquisition of Pharmacia.
    [Again the toxic takeover-downsizing connection.]
    More than 2,000 people work at the 5 sites that will be shut down over the next 18 months. A Pfizer spokesman, Andy McCormick, said all would not necessarily lose their jobs, but that some would. Pfizer has not said how many of Pharmacia's 43,000 employees will be terminated because of the merger, which was completed April 16. Pfizer is closing 3 of its own sites - one in France with 350 employees, one in Germany that employees 300 people and one in Ontario, Canada. Pfizer could not say how many people were employed there.
    [Usually we omit the things corporations don't know. But this poor helpless giant corporation doesn't know sooo much....]
    The company is also closing a Pharmacia plant in South San Francisco that employs 300 people and a complex in suburban Chicago with 1,300 employees. But Pfizer is keeping its research and development headquarters in Connecticut, where it employs about 6,000 people.
    [This CEO and his 'team' have created a culture that doesn't care about casualties or won't tell. So we're going to count all the jobs at all the 5+2 sites as lost, and that adds up to 2000+300+1300= 3,600 lost jobs. And these top executives have no idea of the general direction of the solution to this whole can of worms = a new technology for sharing and spreading the vanishing employment, at every level: corporate, industry, and economy wide; city, state, region and nation wide. The two key elements are making the workweek vary inversely with the unemployment rate and making overtime target, trigger, pace and gauge training and hiring. One backup element is redefining unemployment to include welfare, disability, homelessness, prison, work or worklessness linked suicide and if possible, forced part-time, forced retirement, forced prolonged education....

  3. New losses, layoffs and debt at the machine builder ABB, by Alison Langley, NYT, W1.
    ...The Swiss-Swedish company that wanted to be Europe's General Electric [is] struggling [and] reported another quarterly loss [yester]day $45m for Q1 - ...attributed to the heavy borrowing it did in earlier years and the costs of cutting itself back down to size.
    [How pathetic can you get? Here's a CEO blaming his need to downsize on the costs of downsizing.]
    The company is trying to sell units, cut 25,000 jobs and whittle its $8.2B in total debt.... A week [ago] ABB disclosed that it was still liable for $2.2B in guarantees related to two businesses it sold 3 years ago.... ABB's CEO, Juergen Dormann, sought to reassure investors today that the bleeding had stopped in its main businesses....
    [Sure sure. We caught up to 23,100 jobcuts on 11/09-11/2002 #1, so now we just have to count 25000-23100= 1,900 jobcuts. November's cuts left the 'declining balance' of total headcount at 140738, so what we're counting here of current scything takes it down to 140738-1900= 138,838 pencilled-in employees. But stay tuned.]

  4. Infineon Technologies to cut about 3% of work force, AP via NYT, W1.
    ...Europe's 2nd-largest computerchip maker \will\ cut as many as 900 jobs...over the next few months as it tries to lower costs amid weakness in the semiconductor market.... 500 positions in administration and 150 jobs in its cellphone parts division, mostly in Sweden. Outsourcing and consolidating some other operations would eliminate 250 more jobs.... Infineon employs more than 31,000 people. The company, which is based in Munich, has posted 8 consecutive quarterly losses.... The chip industry [continues to] struggle...to recover from a worldwide slump in company spending.... The global semiconductor market shrank by 3% in the first 3 months of 2003, the company said. Media reports have said the company is looking at moving its HQ to escape German taxes and labor laws that guarantee employees a significant say in how the business is run....
    [Any company that evades the practices that maintain its markets should be barred from those markets.]

  5. Arkansas: More teacher layoffs, by Steve Barnes, NYT, A25.
    The state's 2nd-largest school system, the Pulaski County Special District, will lay off more than 500 employees, including 178 teachers, to close a $6.7m gap in its $126m budget....

  6. Corus plans job cuts, by Christine Whitehouse, NYT, W1.
    ...The struggling British-Dutch steelmaker [will] cut 1,150 jobs in its continuing battle to stem losses at its British units. ...It [is] also considering 2,200 more jobcuts in the next 2 years.
    [So total = 1150+2200= 3,350 jobcuts, of which we have already counted 3000 - on 4/15/2003 #1, leaving only 3350-3000= 350 jobcuts to count now.]

  7. Profit plunges 61% amid costs from job cuts, plant closures, Dow Jones via WSJ, A10.
    Stanley Works said Q1 net income plunged 61% as it incurred the costs of cutting jobs and closing plants. The New Britain, Conn., supplier of tools, hardware and door systems posted net of $19.2m.... The results for the latest quarter included $3.1m in severance costs for about 150 employees and $14m in impairment and other costs related to its exit from the Mac Direct direct-distribution business....

  8. Arkansas: More teacher layoffs, by Steve Barnes, NYT, A25.
    ...The...Little Rock School District, the state's largest, announced last month that it would lay off 30 teachers in an effort to close a $3m deficit in its $227m budget.

  9. JDS Uniphase Corp., Dow Jones via WSJ, A10.
    ...The San Jose CA maker of fiber-optic parts posted a net loss of $136.8m...for the quarter ended March 31, \its\ fiscal Q3.... It is continuing its restructuring activities.
    [As on 1/24/2003 #1.]
    To date...the program has reduced annual costs by about $1.1B. JDS...is undertaking further reductions of employment and additional site closures....
    [Unspecified additional jobcuts.]

4/29/2003   5 downsizings, totaling 4,200 lost jobs + unspecified, mentioned in Wall St Journal & NY Times (not counting economywide agism noted in "Insurance veteran finds job after 440 days of searching," by Joseph Pereira, WSJ, D4, which states, "Richard Wilcox...a 62-year-old veteran of insurance management with 36 years' experience had...exhausted his severance, unemployment benefits and life savings. [He] had sent out 700 resumes and obtained only 2 interviews; he had resorted to holding up a sign laong a busy Boston commuter route in frigid weather..\.. His plight was the subject of a page-one article last month in The Wall St Journal. The profile underscored how much tougher unemployment has been for older, white-collar workers than it has been for other jobless in the sluggish economy.") -
  1. Goodrich Corp. - Profit more than doubles; Work force to be reduced 7%, Dow Jones via WSJ, C13.
    ...The Charlotte NC aerospace supplier...plans to cut more than 1,700 jobs...in 2003 and 2004, reduce manufacturing capacity and cut contributions to the employee retirement savings plan....
    [Can't beat that for deepening a recession!]

  2. Getronics NV, Dow Jones via WSJ, C13.
    ...will lay off between 1,000 and 1,200 workers, at least 4% of its workforce, and close offices in an effort [to] bring down costs amid weakness in its markets. The Dutch computer-services company...plans to close 20 "redundant" offices and close or dispose of 10 "underperforming assets," including stakes in some ventures. ...It is restructuring to "match its operating costs to current market conditions and anticipated revenues." Getronics, which has about 25,000 workers, said the move will cost 50-60m euros....
    [Lordy, if they'd just distribute this money to the computer-literate public, they'd restore their markets!]

  3. Spiegel plans to close 60 stores and trim 900 jobs, Bloomberg via NYT, C10.
    ...The owner of the 98-year-old Spiegel catalog...filed for bankruptcy court protection last month [see 3/18/2003]. The stores will remain open until it receives bankruptcy court approval to close them.... Spiegel operates 529 Eddie Bauer clothing, home and outlet stores in the U.S. and Canada. The company, which is based in Downers Grove IL, sought protection...after losing more than $727m in the last 2 years. The Eddie Bauer stores scheduled for closing are in 24 states and D.C.; 8 are in Calif.

  4. ABN Amro Holding NV, Dow Jones via WSJ, C13.
    ...slashed 400 jobs at its private equity and wholesale operations in France \during\ the first quarter....

  5. Dataram to dismiss about 28% of work force, Bloomberg via NYT, C2.
    ...A maker of memory products for servers built by companies like Dell Computer and HP will...close a plant in Denmark to save money...as companies cut spending on IT because of the weak economy..\.. Dataram will shift manufacturing from its Aarhus, Denmark, plant to one in Bucks County, Pa. [to] save about $7m a year....
    [So, this is one of the first indications we've seen that the U.S.A. is approaching low Third World levels of labor costs, i.e., pay and benefits. Unspecified jobcuts.]

4/26-28/2003   6 downsizings, totaling 6,120 lost jobs + unspecified, mentioned in Wall St Journal & NY Times

(   not counting three economywide items -

  1. 4/28   Work force to be cut by 3,000 in first of expected moves, Dow Jones via WSJ, B16.
    Alsthom SA of France announced...cuts in its European power-turbo division, the first of an expected series of divisional restructurings it plans to rescue the French power and engineering company. The jobcuts are part of a 300m euros ($330.8m) of annual restructuring charges Alstom announced last month [but not in the WSJ or NYT] and that unions fear will result in as many as 10,000 jobcuts worldwide out of Alstom's workforce of 118,000. Alsthom is slashing jobs, selling core businesses and raising capital to counter slumping power markets and technical failure with some of its power turbines.... The cuts announced Friday [4/25] will be made in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and the UK.

  2. 4/28   KPMG quietly reduces its staff of tax partners in US by 4%, by Cassell Bryan-Low, WSJ, C7.
    ...One of the large audit firms under scrutiny for selling allegedly questionable tax shelters, has quietly been scaling back its tax staff. The firm has reduced the number of tax partners by as many as 25 so far this year [they axed 50 of them last year (7/17/2002 #2)], a decrease of about 4% from its roughly 550 US tax partners, KPMG employees said. Overall reductions year-to-date total about 2,100, or 12% of all employees, with those who work in the tax area among the hardest hit....

  3. 4/26   Bayer's annual earnings jump as costs are cut, Bloomberg via NYT, B2.
    COLOGNE [en français et anglais, aber auf deutsch, Köln]... - The German drug maker...expect[s] operating profit to jump more than 10% this year after cutting costs.
    [Probably because everything in the world is turning into such a big headache. And Bayer is part of the problem -]
    Bayer intends to save 2.2B euros by 2005 as it reduces its payroll by 15,000 workers. It cut 3,600 jobs last year [or 2!] and will reduce net debt to 7B euros this year from 8.9B euros at the end of 2002....
    [Of these 3600, we only counted 1800 (8/10/2001 #1) + 1300 (5/23/2002 #2)= 3100, so we now need to count the omitted 3600-3100= 500 jobcuts. Note that another 4700 cuts over the next three years were announced on 9/13/2002 #1.]

  4. 4/26   Westpoint Stevens to close rest of towel-making complex, Bloomberg via NYT, B5.
    ...in Roanoke Rapids NC. The closing of the 2 plants and a distribution center, scheduled for June 28, will affect about 320 employees, who will be given priority should jobs be available at other plants.... The company..\..which makes Ralph Lauren Home bedding and bath products [and] is based in West Point GA, had shut part of the complex in 2001.

  5. 4/28   Publisher swung to net loss for its fiscal third quarter, Dow Jones via WSJ, B16.
    Reader's Digest Assoc. Inc. [RD] reported a loss...as it recorded restructuring costs, mainly to cover jobcuts.... Results for the latest quarter included restructuring charges of $16.1m...mainly for severance costs related to the elimination of about 200 positions in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, and the U.S. During the quarter, RD launched a plan [that] includes consolidations, closing some marginal businesses and reducing staff. The Pleasantville NY company has about 5,000 employees worldwide....

  6. 4/26   Americo says insurance unit will end some business, Bloomberg via NYT, B5.
    ...The parent of U-Haul International said its Republic Western Insurance Co. unit would discontinue business not realted to U-Haul as part of a plan to reduce costs. The move is expected to lead to staff cuts at Republic Western.... A spokeswoman, Jennifer Flachman, said the insurer had about 350 employees. [It] has had losses of more than $100m in recent years on coverage not related to the U-Haul vehicle-rental business....
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

4/25/2003   4 downsizings, totaling 1,480 lost jobs, mentioned in Wall St Journal & NY Times (not counting economywide "Jobless claims hit one-year high...," by Ip & Rebello, WSJ, A2, which states, "Initial jobless claims rose by 8,000 to 455,000 last week, the Labor Dept said, ..\..despite the apparent end of war in Iraq." - entirely to be expected in a masochistic world that turns the blessings of worksaving technology into the curse of unemployment by downsizing instead of timesizing - and age-cohort-specifically, "Rose-colored classes - Facing brutal job market, many college seniors still think future looks fine," by Diane Lewis, Boston Globe, C1 - further, "SBC, Johnson & Johnson rise, but layoffs weigh on market," by Karen Talley, Dow Jones via WSJ, C3, and market-specifically, "Economic concerns send industrials [= the Dow] back below 8500," by E.S. Browning, WSJ, C1.) -
  1. Britain: Hotelier's profit falls, by Alan Cowell, NYT, W1.
    In its first trading update since being spun off from Six Continents, InterContinental Hotels, whose 3,300 hotels include the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza chains, said first-quarter profit fell substantially because of the war in Iraq, the outbreak of...SARS and global economic woes. ...It [will] reduce its backoffice staff of 2,600 people by 800 to save $100m a year.
    [So, 800/2600= 31% of backoffice staff.]

  2. Standard Register to close plants and cut 500 jobs, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...The jobcuts, which include...attrition, amount to 8.3% of the company's workforce of 6,000. \The\ print[er of] business forms and labels...is consolidating plants as increased use of print-on-demand services reduces the need for inventories of forms....
    [Another counter-example to "technology creates more jobs than it destroys."]
    Operations at plants in Oklahoma City, Dallas, and Spring Grove IL will be merged into a new plant in Dallas, while warehouses in Memphis and Peoria IL will close....

  3. Wellman, NYT, C4.
    ...Shrewsbury NJ, a maker of polyester packaging products and fibers, cut 100 jobs to save money and reported a Q1 profit.

  4. Exxon Mobil, NYT, C4.
    ...Irving TX...is combining its East and West Coast production operations in Houston and cutting about 80 administrative and clerical jobs in New Orleans.

4/24/2003   1 downsizing, totaling 275 lost jobs, mentioned in Wall St Journal & NY Times - 4/22/2003   1 downsizing, totaling 600 lost jobs, mentioned in Wall St Journal & NY Times - 4/18/2003   5 more downsizings, totaling 1,791 lost jobs, mentioned in Wall St Journal & NY Times -
  1. US Airways to lay off 890 attendants, union says, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    ...by the end of June as it trims its flight schedule and workforce to match slow demand.... The layoffs follow more than $1B in wage cuts and other concessions extracted from the airline's labor groups. About half of the layoffs, which affect 3% of the airline's flight attendants, will involved active workers, a spokeswoman for the union, the Assoc. of Flight Attendants, said. The rest affect flight attendants who are [already] on voluntary leave....
    [There's a disincentive, then, for being a good guy and helping out by volunteering for a leave. "Nice guys always get screwed."]

  2. Unifi, NYT, C4.
    ...Greensboro NC, a maker of textured yarns used in home furnishings and clothing, [will] eliminate 400 jobs in the U.S. to help reduce costs by about $20m a year.
    [And how would we go about estimating the dollar value of their U.S. market which that will reduce per year, including all the decremental domino effects, since to some estimatable extent, their employees are also their customers' customers? And in general, how would we estimate the gross decrement in the consumer base and the velocity of circulation per loss of each average U.S. employee?]

  3. Hibernia, Louisiana bank, plans to eliminate 290 jobs, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...Louisiana's biggest bank plans to eliminate 5% of its workforce to cut costs after Q1 earnings fell 5.1% and lending money became less profitable. About half of the...jobs that will be cut are vacant.... The bank has $17.7B in assets and about 260 branches.
    [290 to avoid 'shocking' 300 here, 890 to avoid 'shocking' 900 in #1, and possibly 900 to avoid 'horrible' 1000. Wouldn't we better off if we cut the valium? $30 is a lot easier to write than $29.95.]

  4. Electroglas to cut 25% of work force, Bloomberg via NYT, C9.
    ...in the next 2 quarters. \The\ maker of semiconductor equipment...employed 469 workers as of Dec/2002, according to a filing with the SEC....
    [Let's see, 25% of 469 is 117 jobcuts.]

  5. Britain: Waterford Wedgwood layoffs, by Brian Lavery, NYT, W1.
    ...The manufacturer behind the Waterford Crystal and Wedgwood brands of luxury goods laid off 94 temporary workers at its factory in the city of Waterford after experiencing falling demand for its products....
    ["water ford" - in olde Englyshe, was there some other kind of "ford" such that this "water" qualifier was needed and not completely redundant? We don't often get anything explicit on the recession's impact on temporary jobs - thanks, Brian!]

4/17/2003   5 downsizings, totaling 4,600 lost jobs + unspecified, mentioned in Wall St Journal & NY Times -
  1. Flight attendants approve concessions at American Airlines, by Edward Wong, NYT, C1.
    Flight attendants...narrowly approved $340m in annual wage and benefit cuts yesterday, giving the carrier more breathing room to avert a bankruptcy filing.... About an hour after voting ended yesterday, the union said its members had voted 10,761 to 9,652 to accept the concessions....
    Under the cuts, the flight attendants will take a 15.6% paycut [and hours cut?? - probably not, but that would be timesizing], starting May 1, and about 2,000 will be laid off. Like the agreements with the other unions, there will also be changes to benefits and work rules....

  2. Merrill net increases by 5.9% on bond trading, cost cuts, by Susanne Craig, WSJ, C6.
    ...Meanwhile..\..Merrill Lynch & Co...continued to cut employees, reducing its ranks by 1,300 in the quarter to 49,600. This brings its staff cuts to 22,000 people since its employment levels peaked at the end of 2000....

  3. First-quarter net fell 30% on generic-drug competition, Dow Jones via WSJ, C11.
    Dutch chemical and drug maker Akzo Nobel NV...will further restructure its pharmaceutical unit, where it has already announced plans for 800 jobcuts....
    [Followup -]
    Dutch chemical firm moves to revive pharmaceuticals unit, Dow Jones via 5/16/2003 WSJ, B5.
    Akzo Nobel NV...has begun cost cuts at the drug business, and plans to trim at least 700 jobs to bring the workforce under 21,000 by the end of the year....
    [We're assuming this refers to the same downsizing.]

  4. First-quarter profit slid 39%; Work-force cuts are planned, Dow Jones via WSJ, C11.
    Penny-pinching consumers looking for inexpensive floor-care appliances damaged Maytag Corp.'s first-quarter earnings. The Newton, Iowa, appliance maker...will cut 500 salaried employees from its workforce as part of a cost-reduction effort....

  5. Montana: Celebrated saloon closes, AP via NYT, A18.
    The M & M Cigar Store in Butte, a saloon that Jack Kerouac described as his ideal bar, closed on Tuesday after filing for bankruptcy.
    [Unspecified jobs lost.]
    Patrons wept at last call; drinks had been poured round the clock since the bar opened in 1890.... The bar survived Prohibition by proclaiming itself a tobacco shop.

4/16/2003   3 downsizings, totaling 1,800 lost jobs + unspecified, mentioned in Wall St Journal & NY Times (not counting city-level "Slump in plane travel grounds Wichita, world's 'air capital'," by Peter Kilborn, NYT, front page, which states, "Since 9/11/01, about 11,000 aircraft workers have been laid off, leaving about 37,000.... The unemployment rate, 6.8% in January, has doubled since the late 1990s. This time around, too, some jobs will come back. But more than in the past, the companies have moved their production abroad, and are reducing production space." America, RIP, unless.) -
  1. Corning Inc., Dow Jones via ESJ, B10.
    ...plans to stop production of cathode-ray-tube glass used in conventional TV sets sold into the NAFTA market, resulting in the elimination of about 1,000 jobs, or 4.3% of its workforce [at its mfg plant in State College PA - NYT, C15], and charges against its earnings. The Corning NY provider of optical fiber for the telecom market, and display glass and other products, said that Corning Asahi Video Products Co. continued to experience a weakening of NAFTA CRT glass sales in Q1, in part because of increased competition from imports....

  2. General Electric Co. - Jet-engine division expects to pare as many as 800 jobs, Dow Jones via ESJ, B10.
    ...because of the worldwide slump in the airline industry. GE Aircraft Engines [GE AE] said the cuts - amounting to about 3% of its global workforce - would take place by the end of June. The company is one of the world's largest suppliers of engines for commercial and military aircraft. About 7,000 people work at the jet engine division's HQ plant in suburban Cincinnati. GE AE Pres. Dave Calhoun told employees last week of the need for the jobcuts,
    [there's never any 'need' for jobcuts in an hourscutting company except in the 'extremis' of liquidation]
    which are to be spread around the world. They would be among the 1,800 jobs the company cautioned last October that it could be forced [only by a suicidal lack of imagination!] to eliminate this year [by the] slump....
    [We picked up no 1800 cautions last October - only 2200 sure things on 10/31/2002 #3 which we'll assume were separate.]

  3. United Air to cut flights by another 4% in May, WSJ, D2.
    CHICAGO - UAL Corp.'s United Airlines...will trim its May schedule by nearly 4% from the reduced schedule it is running this month, because of weak bookings. The additional cuts primarily will come from international routes and flights operated by United's domestic commuter affiliates.... United, which is operating under bankruptcy-court protection, said the revised schedule will cause it to put an unspecified number of additional employees on unpaid leaves....
    [We count unpaid leaves as layoffs when no explicit length-of-leave is given.]


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