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

11/29/2003   1 downsizing, totaling 1470 lost jobs, cited in WSJ & NYT -

  1. Stolt-Nielsen unit sees deeper financial loss, by Robert Tomsho, WSJ, B4.
    Stolt Offshore SA, hit by continuing losses on major projects...expects...to report a deeper financial loss for fiscal 2003 and [to] lay off 21% of its 7,000 employees.
    [= 1,470 layoffs.]
    Although its stock trades separately, Stolt Offshore...based in Aberdeen, Scotland..\..is the offshore construction unit of Stolt-Nielsen SA, the chemical-shipping company that has been rocked by U.S. and European investigations into alleged bid-rigging in the chemicals transportation market....

11/28/2003   1 downsizing, totaling unspecified lost jobs, cited in WSJ & NYT -
11/26/2003   2 downsizings, totaling 430 lost jobs, + unspecified, cited in WSJ & NYT -
  1. Canadian National Railway Co. [CNR], WSJ, B8.
    ...agreed to pay the British Columbia [BC] government C$1B [US$758m] for the province's BC Rail franchise and the right to operate over the line under a long-term lease.... CNR...plans to cut BC Rail's workforce to 950 employees from 1380 currently. ...250...early retirement [and] 180...attrition of severance....
    [1380-950= 430 jobs cut - a betrayal by the BC gov't?]

  2. Publisher to close 3 magazines aimed at black readers, by David Carr, NYT, C6.
    Vanguarde Media Inc., publisher of
    1. Savoy,
    2. Honey
    3. and Heart and Soul,
    announced yesterday that it would close the magazines and seek bankruptcy protection....
    [Unspecified jobs lost. And yet a magazine explicitly aimed at white readers would be roasted.]

11/25/2003   2 downsizings, totaling 2,006 lost jobs, cited in WSJ & NYT -
  1. Sprint to lay off 2,000 employees, pointer digest (to C8), NYT, C1 (//WSJ, C12).
    ...in all divisions..\..2.9% of its employees, as it reorgs operations to contend with falling long-distance sales....

  2. Advertising -...Miscellany, NYT, C8.
    FCB HealthCare will close its San Francisco office and move about half of the dozen employees there to its NY HQ....
    [Half a dozen = 6 jobcuts. We should really count all 12 cuz of the distance of the move.]

11/21/2003   4 downsizings, totaling 1,115 lost jobs, + unspecified, cited in WSJ & NYT
(not counting industrywide "With foreign rivals making the cut, US toolmakers dwindle - China, others put the squeeze on small, costly plants; Fears of innovation flight," by Timothy Appel, WSJ, front page, which states, "All over America, toolmakers - a once-vital craft at the heart of the nation's industrial sector - are seeing their work vanish. The National Tooling & Machining Assoc. estimates that 30% of the toolmakers in the US have shut down in the past 3 years.") -
  1. Germans stave off [?] industrial flight to Third World, NYT, C2 (cont'd fm C1).
    ...This week...Epcos, a Munich-based maker of electronic components, said it would shift 500 jobs to China, Singapore and Portugal....

  2. GST Autoleather, NYT, C4.
    ...Hagerstown, Md., a leading supplier of seating leather...plans to move its cutting operations to Mexico, eliminating as many as 315 jobs at plants in Williamsport, Md., and Reading, Pa., in early 2004.

  3. Temple-Inland, NYT, C4.
    ...Austin, Tx., a...lumber maker, [will] eliminate 300 jobs at its box-making business by the end of the year to reduce costs....

  4. Japan: Cotton yarn futures trading to end, NYT, W1.
    The Osaka Mercantile Exchange will close Japan's last cotton yarn futures market because of waning interest. Trading [which] started 110 years ago..\..will be suspended on Dec.1 and...formally end in April 2004....
    [Unspecified job losses.]

11/20/2003   1 downsizing, totaling unspecified lost jobs, cited in WSJ & NYT
(not counting industrywide "Textile towns appeal for help, but quotas may not suffice [to] rescue Carolina textiles," by Edmond Andrews, NYT, C1 & C4, which states, "James Copland III...president of a family fabric company in Burlington NC with brother Ronald...and son Jason, exec. VP, who is mystified at 'sending jobs over to Communist China.' " [photo caption] and "The state [N.C.] has lost 147,000 jobs in the last three years, 37,500 of them in the textile industry. In the last year, at least 12 textile plants have closed in and around Burlington alone." - see also today 11/20/2003 #4 re garment-trade quotas in Bangladesh) -
  1. Functions at five companies to be centralized to cut costs, WSJ, C12.
    Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson plans to cut costs and a "modest" number of jobs by centralizing some functions of its 5 pharma companies to free up money for new product development....
    [See also 11/07 #1 below.]

11/19/2003   2 downsizings totaling 3,300 lost jobs + (2) uncounted downsizing stories, cited in WSJ & NYT -
  1. AT&T Wireless is making plans, pointer summary (to A3), WSJ, front page.
    ...to lay off over 10% of its 30,000 workers in the next year and may outsource their jobs to India and elsewhere overseas.
    [10% of 30000= 3,000 layoffs.]

  2. WestPoint Stevens plant closing to trim 300 jobs, NYT, C4.

plus (2) uncounted general downsizing stories - 11/18/2003   2 downsizings totaling 25,400 lost jobs cited in WSJ & NYT -
  1. Nearly twice as many workers as expected accept buyouts, WSJ, A16 (//NYT, C4).
    About 21,600 Verizon Communications Inc. employees accepted a buyout offer and will leave the payroll by the end of the week, nearly double the number [12,000] that the NY telephone company estimated last month [and almost 10% of its workforce - NYT]. The[y] include 5,600 union workers and about 16,000 nonunion managers and administrative staff.... The buyout...was designed to help accelerate cost cutting in the company's shrinking residential telephone business....

  2. Toys 'R' Us to close 180 stores, by Joseph Pereira, WSJ, B4 (//NYT, C4).
    [Thank God - hugeness and toys are mutually incompatible anyway.]
    ...About 3,800 jobs will be eliminated....

      plus (1) uncounted general downsizing story - 11/15/2003   6 downsizings totaling 5,908 lost jobs cited in WSJ & NYT
(not counting regional-source, "Boston Herald reports staff cutbacks; 19 are affected," Boston Globe, C1, and also economy-level "Romanians become tech rivals for off-shore jobs," WSJ, B1, and also city-level "In one Oregon city, jobless residents ask, 'What recovery?', 11/17/2003 NYT, A14, which states "Gloria Hunt has been laid off three times since moving to Albany, Ore., 14 years ago. She has been looking for work for almost 8 months." {photo caption}, and same page "In Atlanta, improved economy doesn't lead to popping of champagne corks [ie: to wild rejoicing]," 11/17/2003 NYT, A14 continued from front page, and also "[In Rochester NY] Rising demand squeezes food banks - More unemployment plus fewer donations equals a tighter pinch," by David Johnston, 11/17/2003 NYT, E26) -
  1. Japan: Resona Holdings Inc...4000 more jobcuts planned, NYT, B4.
  2. AT&T Wireless Services...1900-1500= 400 more planned jobcuts, 6.1%...relying on costcuts to increase earnings as sales and subscriber growth slow, Bloomberg via NYT, B5.
  3. Cardinal Health to cut 850...already laid off 275, NYT, B3.
  4. Tellabs to end all manufacturing and lay off 300 workers, 9%, NYT, B5.
  5. Walt Disney Co...258 layoffs, 11/17/2003 WSJ, A17.
  6. Adobe Systems Inc...cutting 100 jobs, 3%, NYT, B5.
11/14/2003   1 downsizing totaling 200 lost jobs cited in WSJ & NYT
(not counting statewide "Gumbo, zydeco - and jobs," by Gov. Cand. Bobby Jindal {R-La.}, WSJ, A12, which states "Like all Americans, Louisianians are concerned about jobs and economic opportunity. For us, the focus on jobs isn't just a [passing] phenomenon; it's a constant [question] about whether we will be able to earn a good living without leaving home. Louisiana - like W.Va. or Ark. or N.D. - has suffered from persistent out-migration. More people have been moving out of our state than in. Jobs are more plentiful elsewhere." - until you implement automatic employment-countering adjustment of the workweek at home.) -
  1. Franklin Mint plans layoffs and product changes, AP via NYT, C3.
    ...A collectibles maker plans to lay off 67% of its employees in suburban Philadelphia.... The company notified 200 workers at its Franklin Center site in Delaware County that they would be dismissed over the next several months.... Weakened by decreasing sales of figurines, Franklin Mint plans to shift its focus to die-cast cars, airplanes, and Harley-Davidson collectibles....
11/13/2003   1 downsizing totaling 1500 lost jobs + (3) uncounted downsizing stories, cited in WSJ & NYT -
  1. Behind China's export boom, heated battle among factories - As Wal-Mart, others demand lowest prices, managers scramble to slash costs, by Peter Wonacott, WSJ, front page.
    SHAJING, China -...It's the survival of the cheapest. At Ching Hai Electric Works Co., manager David Liu has cut his labor force in half, to 1,500 workers, even while maintaining the same level of orders....
    [Ergo 1,500 jobcuts. China is US or England in the 1830s-40s - Dickens' "dark Satanic mills" - little different from slavery. And where we are in unregulated competition against our own past, everyone loses. The huge consumer markets of China's potential are never funded (eg: with wages and salaries) and activated. And the once huge and growing consumer markets of America are gradually defunded and deactivated. Notice that phrase "survival of the cheapest" and use it to squash neo-cons whenever they start claiming "survival of the fittest."]

plus (3) uncounted general downsizing stories - 11/11/2003   2 downsizings, totaling 7000 lost jobs cited in WSJ & NYT
  1. First profit since 2001 is tied to strong memory-chip unit, WSJ, A12.
    Infineon Technologies AG posted a profit...amid a revival in memory-chip prices and cost cuts.... The results are a further sign that chipmakers are back on track after more than two years of feeble demand and overcapacity sent losses spiraling. In their latest quarterly reports, In a bid to emerge from the slump in better shape than some of its rivals, Infineon shed about 6,000 jobs and invested in technology to produce less-expensive memory chips....
    [The devastating effects of the downsizing response to technology, instead of timesizing, don't get any clearer than this. Where now those who prate that "technology creates more jobs than it destroys"? Not if met with downsizing rather than timesizing it doesn't!]

  2. Some nonunion jobs to be cut as part of restructuring plan, WSJ, A12.
    CSX Corp...the Jacksonville FL railroad..\..will cut 800 to 1,000 non-union employees over the next six months, as part of a plan to streamline its management structure and to create a smaller organization. ...The company decided to streamline its management structure to no more than 8 layers from as many as 11 layers....
    [They've been reading 1980s books admiring Japanese bunchin management structure (flat like a "bun-chin," an old-fashioned, calligrapher's paperweight).]
    CSX has about 34,000 workers....
    [So this is a 1000/34000= 3% downsizing.]

11/08/2003   3 downsizings, totaling 600 lost jobs + unspecified, cited in WSJ & NYT
  1. Mining again in a Montana town that's fallen on hard times - A city plagued by job losses and festering toxic waste, by Jim Robbins, NYT, A8.
    BUTTE, Mont. - ...The demise this year of Montana Power, the state's largest electric company, was the worst economic news in recent years. Montana Power was an economic mainstay here for decades, with more than 500 high-paying jobs....

  2. Bank of America Corp., WSJ, C8.
    ...is laying off nearly 100 employees as part of a cost-cutting move.... The cuts, which represent approximately 1.5% of the unit's total workforce of 6,400, began on Labor Day and will last through the end of the year.... The jobcuts aren't related to Bank of America's plans to purchase FleetBoston Financial Corp. for $44B..\..a spokeswoman for the Charlotte NC bank...Tara Burke...said....
    [Oh no? It may be indirect but we call it another case of the suicidal takeover-downsizing syndrome. $44 billion they can afford for a risky takeover and they can't afford to stabilize their employment?]

  3. U.S. closing Saudi offices, AP via NYT, A6.
    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia...- The United States will close its [diplomatic] missions in Saudi Arabia on Saturday for an undetermined period because of "credible" information that terrorists are about to carry out attacks, the American Embassy here said Friday [11/07]. The embassy said the missions in Riyadh, Jidda and Dhahran would close....
    [Unspecified local job losses.]

11/07/2003   2 downsizings, totaling 580 lost jobs cited in WSJ & NYT
(not counting economywide "Maid in China: More workers flock to cities as 'aunties' - Ms. Luo put in 10-hour days for about $50 a month; Return of a class system," WSJ, front page, indicating the depths of quality-of-life deterioration in China as massive state enterprises are dismantled & millions are downsized - compare earlier "Millions of workers...were laid off by state industries in market-oriented economic 'reforms' " (1/1/2002 #1) and also 4/17/2000 #3 re pockets of 30% unemployment, and also "Harsh Chinese reality feeds a black market in women" (6/25/2001 #3), and also "Unemployment in China and South Korea - Young, bright and jobless," 6/21/2003 The Economist, 35, which states, "This summer China will produce its largest ever crop of university graduates: more than 2m, 46% up from last year.... So dire are their job prospects that 27,000 of them have applied to take exams for only 2,500 available civil service jobs.") -
  1. Johnson & Johnson, NYT, C3.
    ...New Brunswick NJ [will] shift manufacturing operations at its North Brunswick plant to outside contractors and eliminate 490 jobs; 600 employees [in] other units will continue working at the plant.
    [490/(490+600)= 490/1090= a 45% plant downsizing.]

  2. General Electric, NYT, C3.
    ...Fairfield CT, said its Employers Reinsurance unit would stop selling life insurance in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, eliminating 90 jobs.

11/06/2003   1 downsizing, totaling unspecified lost jobs cited in WSJ & NYT -
  1. AmerisourceBergen Corp. - Net income increases by 26% on drug-distribution growth, WSJ, C13.
    ...In the latest quarter, the Chesterbrook, Pa., company booked a charge of $1.5m...for facility consolidations and employee severance....
11/05/2003   3 downsizings, totaling 9250 lost jobs cited in WSJ & NYT -
  1. Tyco International posts loss, will cut 7,200 jobs...3%, WSJ, A3.
  2. Southwest Airlines to close 3 phone centers...1,900 employees to relocate or sever, WSJ, D8.
  3. Lubrizol Corp...150 layoffs, WSJ, C11.
11/04/2003   4 downsizings, totaling 6,675 lost jobs + unspecified, cited in WSJ & NYT
(not counting economywide "Economy leaves workers behind," op ed by Thomas Oliphant, Boston Globe, A19, which states, "Rising production is good for both economies and for politicians.... But jobs and income are even better [and] there is a growing disconnect between production on one hand and jobs and income on the other. At some point, the disconnect is either going to go away or Geo.W.Bush is going to find himself in trouble..\..as the U.S. heads into another national election."
And also, "The Democrats and the economy," letter to editor by Jan Guardiano of Fort Myers FL, NYT, A28, which states, "Surges [positively] affecting some measurements of the economy will not bring economic stability...so long as corporations are dropping workers in America and contracting the work abroad.") -
  1. Applica Inc, Miami Lakes FL maker of electric consumer goods...3,875 jobcuts...25%, WSJ, A15.
    ...downsizing its US HQ & closing 2 factories in China while yet moving there some production from US & Mexico....
  2. Alitalia...1500 layoffs and 1200 outsourcings [total 2700], WSJ, A15.
  3. Elizabeth Arden Inc...100 jobcuts...10% in US, NYT, C4.
  4. Chautauqua County NY...20% layoff [unspecified cuts], NYT, A25.
11/01/2003   3 downsizings, totaling 2,550 lost jobs + unspecified, cited in WSJ & NYT
(not counting -
  1. ChevronTexaco Corp...2,000 cuts...3.9% of its 53,000 workforce...to streamline, WSJ, A10.
  2. Oneida Ltd...close one 450-employee plant in Buffalo NY & four ??-employee plants in Mexico, China & Italy, WSJ, A11, //NYT B5 '350'.
  3. Everlast Worldwide Inc...boxing equipment, South Bronx...100 lose jobs, NYT, B17.

Click here for downsizing stories in -
May/2003 (+Jun.1-2).
Jan. 16-31/2002.
Jan. 1-15/2002.
Dec. 16-31/2001.
Earlier 2001 downsizings accessible via links at bottom of Dec.16-31/2001 page.
Earlier Y2000 downsizings accessible via links at bottom of Dec.16-31/2000 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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