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Downsizings, February 1-15/2001
[Commentary] ©2001 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 117, Harvard Square, Cambridge MA 02238 USA (617) 623-8080

2/15/2001  4 downsizing reports in the NYT & Boston Globe, totaling 7,800 lost jobs worldwide + unspecified German jobcuts -

  1. Goodyear announces [Q4 $16.5m] loss and plan to cut 7,200 jobs, by Claudia Deutsch, NYT, C10.
    ...the vast majority of them overseas - on top of the 3,500 jobs it eliminated last year \- because of\ persistently high raw materials costs and a weak euro [even though] Bridgestone's recall of 6.5m Firestone tires last summer helped Goodyear \in\ sales of replacement tires..\.. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co...which is based in Akron OH \will\ reduce its 105,000-employee work force by almost 7%....
    Goodyear...said that high oil prices added $1.40 to the cost of each of the 223m tires that it shipped last year [but] productivity gains cut $1.08 from the cost of every tire it shipped last year.
    [So oil prices have only hurt them 32 cents a tire x 223m = $71.36m /4 quarters = $17.84m avg loss per quarter.]
    In Sept. 1999, Goodyear merged its European operations with Sumitomo Tire & Rubber's Dunlop plants, and retained 75% of the newly formed joint venture. As Goodyear integrated operations, it closed plants in Italy, Britain and elsewhere, replacing their output by converting plants that had shut on weekends to continuous operation.
    [Sounds like technological displacement to us. More technology, and instead of just as many employee-consumers working fewer hours, these shortsighted CEOs have gone for fewer jobs - and smaller markets. So not surprisingly, the next sentence is -]
    Still, the savings are unlikely to offset the impact of the slowing economy....
    [Let's call a spade a spade here - the savings are unlikely to offset the impact of the economy that Goodyear is slowing - by disemploying consumers instead of cutting working hours. Great Depression II, here we come! And the morons in our next story are even more suicidal because they're not in loss, they're in PROFIT -]

  2. Yankee Candle cutting 455 jobs, or 15% of work force, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...A maker of scented candles [based in Whately, Mass. will] eliminate...about 15% of its work force to increase earnings this year. The company also said fourth-quarter net income rose 22% to $27.7m.... The shares of Yankee Candle fell 61 cents, or 4%, to $14.25 on the NYSE [despite the fact that supposedly] the job cuts will save about $10m annually and result in per-share earnings growth of at least 25% this year....
    [Hey, maybe "investors" are finally getting smart and penalizing companies that fuel recession with unnecessary layoffs. Aren't Yankees supposed to be smart and shrewd, but this candle-brained firm is laying off 15% of its own best customers, instead of cutting the corporate workweek 15% for everyone, including the top executives, and reinvesting some of the 22% corporate income in its best customers - its own employees. We wish Yankee Candle all the worst - we'll certainly try to boycott their products ourselves. Here's hoping we hear of their early demise. Companies like this give capitalism a very bad, very stupid and very suicidal name.]

  3. Genzyme unit cuts jobs in N.J., Canada, by Naomi Aoki, BG, D7.
    In a move to sharpen the focus of its recently formed Genzyme Biosurgery division, Genzyme Corp...is closing a manufacturing plant in Canada [later this year], cutting 145 jobs in Canada [95 cuts] and New Jersey [50 cuts], and selling off certain product lines.... The Cambridge MA company...is streamlining operations and reducing costs to reach its goal of profitability in less than two years.... The division employs nearly 1,100 people....

  4. Etc., Globe wire services via BG, D7.
    ...Boston-based PerkinElmer Inc., a maker of laboratory instruments and research tools for drug companies [will] close a plant in Germany as it moves manufacturing to Singapore to cut costs....

2/14/2001  3 downsizing reports in the NYT & Boston Globe, totaling 805 lost US jobs
(not counting "Parts maker Dana cut 10,000 jobs," AP-NY-02-13-01 1832EST via AOLNews via RadioTony, "or 12% of its work force in recent months...and closed 11 plants in a little over a year..\..to counter a slowdown in the auto industry....") -
  1. Boise Cascade to close Idaho sawmill and power plant, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    ...by mid-year, cutting about 375 jobs. Most of the layoffs will come from the closing of a power generator in Emmet, ID.... Boise Cascade, a distributor of paper and building materials, blamed a decline in the availability of federal timber, saying the amount of timber open for harvest has dropped over 90% in five years because of Clinton administration environmental policies.
    [But then, why should a private company be profiting from taxpayers' timber? Let the wealthy executives of Boise Cascade get their own "open for harvest" timberlands and quit parasitizing us taxpayers. What are they, charity cases? "But we'll lose jobs!" Either the prevailing smokescreen about a low unemployment rate is true - in which case we don't have to worry about "losing jobs" because we've got plenty - or it's false - in which case we can share the still -remaining employment by timesizing and not worry about losing jobs that endanger our enivironment and require constant government bandaids and crutches. Until we have some kind of cap on executive pay, we have absolutely no guarantee that any taxpayer value we transfer to Big Lumber will go to jobs or anywhere other than the pockets of top executives anyway. If they can't make it without whining to government, they are not a viable free-market enterprise and the faster they vanish, the better.]

  2. Kulicke & Soffa [Industries] cuts 300 jobs as fewer orders come in, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...A leading maker of semiconductor-assembly equipment [is] cutting about 300 jobs, or 7% of its work force, because it had received fewer orders. The company, based in Willow Grove, Pa., will make most of the cuts in its second quarter, which ends in March....
    [By then, their suicidal job-cutting "strategy," shared with many others, will make them "need" to make even more cuts.]
    A slowing economy and lower demand for personal computers have hurt the semiconductor industry, prompting chip makers to order less equipment.

  3. Chicago Bridge [& Iron] says it laid off 130 to reduce its costs, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...An engineering and construction company...cut 130 jobs during the fourth quarter to trim costs after acquiring Howe-Baker International Inc...in December...for $130.4m..\..and two units of Pitt-Des Moines Inc...this month, [the] engineered construction and water storage units for 84m..\..
    [Again, the lethal takeover-downsizing connection.]
    The company also trimmed other costs at five operations worldwide....
2/13/2001  2 downsizing reports in the NYT & Boston Globe, totaling 2,460 lost US jobs -
  1. Trucking company lays off another 160 employees, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    The Yellow Corp. [has] laid off 160 managers, or about 4% of its executive work force, because demand ha[s] slowed with the economy. ...It might recall the managers, 100 at field locations and 60 at its Overland Park, Kan., headquarters, in 90 days if economic conditions improve.... The company also laid off 75 managers on Jan. 12. And 1,000 Teamsters, or 5% of Yellow's union work force, remain on a furlough that began late last year.
    [This is the first we've heard about this firm from NYT or Boston Globe, so we'll count all 160+100+1000= 1260 jobcuts total now.]

  2. Steelcase cutting jobs and lowering earnings estimate, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    ...The office furniture maker [is] cutting 10% of its hourly work force in North America.... The company, based in Grand Rapids, Mich. [will] also cut 200 to 300 salaried jobs to improve profits as it struggles with a slowdown in sales and with tight pricing.... Steelcase [will] close its Wigand unit in Colorado Springs and a factory in Solon, Ohio.
    [Once again the Times version is incomprehensibly sloppy and incomplete. Is the Times trying to protect us? That is not its job. From "Steelcase to cut 1,200 jobs; trims profit forecast," Bloomberg Feb/12/2001 18:57 ET via AOLNews, we get the complete story in two sentences: "The...company will fire about 5% of its workforce - 700 temporary employees, 215 hourly workers and 200 to 300 salaried staff, said spokesman Allan Smith. The reductions are in Athens AL, Colorado Springs CO, Grand Rapids MI, Tustin CA, and Solon OH."]

2/10/2001  10 more downsizing reports in the NYT & Boston Globe, totaling 14,412 lost jobs
[not counting 20,000 full-time jobs that were eliminated economywide last month in Canada, half of them in manufacturing, according to "Canada's unemployment rate is up," by Timothy Pritchard, NYT, B2,
and also not counting 2600 layoffs from Stern's dep't stores not picked up by the Times or the Globe, but by "Lechters to close 166 stores, cut 125 jobs" by Monica Summers, Reuters 11:18 02-09-01 via AOLNews via RadioTony, which reports, "...On Thursday [2/08] Federated Department Stores Inc. said it would shut down its Stern's department store division, laying off about 2,600 workers, and convert some of the remaining properties into more profitable Macy's and Bloomingdale's department stores...." - the NYT picked up the Stern's story only in terms of business closure [see 2/09/2001] with no mention of layoffs] -
  1. Motorola cuts 3% of its jobs as chip demand cools off - Tightening the belts at another high-tech - Another blow on top of troubles in cellular phones, by David Barboza, NYT, B2.
    ...One of the world's biggest producers of cell phones and semiconductors \will\ eliminate 4,000 of its semiconductor jobs [in] its global workforce, because of slowing demand for its products.... Motorola...said the downturn resulted from weak consumer spending and the resulting oversupply that led to semiconductor inventory buildup at many of its customers..\.. The job cuts, which come just weeks after Motorola laid off 2,500 employees [see 1/16/2001] and closed its last domestic cellular telephone plant, are further evidence that the economy is slowing....

  2. Etc., Boston Globe, C1.
    ...Dell Computer Corp. has told managers to prepare for expense cuts that could result in the first layoffs in the company's 16-year history, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Analysts say the firm, which reportedly is seeking to cut expenses 8-10%, will trim as many as 4,000 jobs....

  3. In debt, housewares chain plans to close 166 stores, by Monte Williams, NYT, A12.
    ...of its 490 stores in the next 3 months..\.. Lechters - a well-known but ailing purveyor of spatulas, cheese graters and dish towels...owed $54.8m to creditors as of October 2000 and had not been profitable for years, retail watchers said. The closings will result in the elimination of 725 full-time jobs and about 2,100 part-time jobs....
    [Totaling 2,825 jobcuts altogether.]

  4. Net drops 11%, but Electrolux sees good year, by Suzanne Kapner, NYT, B2.
    ...The [Sweden-based] maker of Frigidaire refrigerators and other appliance brands said [yester]day that a streamlining program, including the elimination of 2,000 jobs, would buoy its profits this year despite a looming slowdown in the United States economy.... Since joining the company in 1997, the CEO, Michael ["the Trasher"] Treschow, has trimmed the work force 11%, with more than half the cuts coming last year.... Nearly half the company's revenues last year came from sales of consumer durables in the United States....
    [And that sure isn't sustainable when we're downsizing our consumer base as fast as we can.]

  5. Cooper Tire [& Rubber] plans cutbacks at 22 of its plants, Reuters via NYT, B3.
    ...and cut[s of] 1,000 jobs as part of a reorganization announced in October.... Its Q4 profit fell to $6m from $32m a year earlier [and] its Q1 results [will] drop because of weakening car and truck production.

  6. Land Rover cuts jobs, Reuters via NYT, B2.
    The off-road specialist...a unit of Ford Motor [will] cut up to 250 jobs in Britain after BMW of Germany, the former owner of the unit, rejected a request to supply more diesel engines, forcing Ford to cut production of its Freelander model.

  7. Credence Systems reduces its work force by 14%, Bloomberg via NYT, B3.
    ...A maker of equipment used to test semiconductors, based in Fremont, Calif...laid off about 200 people, or 14% of its 1,450 workers, because of lower-than-expected Q1 revenue. Remaining employees will be required to take one week of accrued vacation each quarter, a move that reduces accounting expenses, said John Detweiler, the corporate Controller. The job cuts were effective yesterday.

  8. Garden Botanika Inc., NYT, B3.
    ...Redmond, Wash., a personal-care products company [will] close all of its 109 stores, lay off 65 workers and seek to sell its trademarks, Web site and other assets to an undisclosed party.
    [They've been operating with little more than half an employee per store??]
    The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 1999.

  9. Etc., Boston Globe, C1.
    ...North Andover MA-based Interspeed Inc.'s board approved plans to liquidate the firm's assets for the benefit of creditors and fire its remaining workers. Last month, Interspeed...curtailed operations and cut 85% of its staff, or 44 jobs.
    [Well, nobody reported that last month so we'll count it all now. If 85% is 44 jobcuts, 100% is a total of 52 jobcuts.]

  10. 20 jobs may end as Leggat McCall [Properties] retools, by Richard Kindleberger, Boston Globe, C1.
    ...in a revamping of the Boston development company that began this week, president J. Brad Griffith said yesterday. Roughly half the layoffs are expected to come with the planned sale of the company's property management business to Insignia/ESG, announced Monday. Insignia plans to hire most of Leggat McCall's management employeees but has declined to pick up about eight, Griffith said. In addition, a reorganization of the remaining business, now in progress, could lead to another 10 layoffs. ...A tightening of the capital markets has meant less money for new ventures, Griffith said.... The layoffs will be concentrated among acquisitions and asset management staff, he said, because the firm has fewer properties than 6 months ago. The belt-tightening comes as the real estate market shows signs of cooling after a long boom....

2/09/2001  10 downsizing reports in the NYT & Boston Globe, totaling 1,916 lost jobs -
  1. Ryder plans to abolish up to 2% of its jobs, AP via NYT, C3.
    Ryder System [expects] to eliminate up to 700 jobs this year...of [its] worldwide workforce of 30,000.\..from VPs on down, as a new CEO takes charge. Some people have already left the corporate office in suburban Miami, where up to 125 of 1,110 employees will be laid off. Severance pay is expected to reduce pretax earnings by $25-30m this year.... On Wed., Ryder reported an 18% decline in Q4 pretax operating earnings...primarily because of weak demand for used trucks.

  2. Web layoffs galore, but many find a net, by Jayson Blair [=‘Times reporter who resigned leaves long trail of deception,’ 5/11/2003 NYT, A1], NYT, A25.
    ...RCN Corp., based in Princeton, NJ, [will] eliminate 65 jobs, including an entire division of employees who were building the company's cable network. Executives announced that all together, they had eliminated about 470 jobs since the beginning of December through layoffs and attrition....
    [Since neither the Times nor the Globe have published any RCN layoff numbers before now, we'll count all 470.]

  3. Nice Systems to eliminate 20% of its jobs, Reuters via NYT, C3.
    ...A maker of multimedia digital recording systems [will] eliminate about 220 jobs, or 20% of its workforce and...restate some past revenues after discovering some [inflated] sales [data]. The company, based in Raanana, Israel, also forecast an operating loss for 1Q01....

  4. Web layoffs galore, but many find a net, by Jayson Blair [=‘Times reporter who resigned leaves long trail of deception,’ 5/11/2003 NYT, A1], NYT, A25.
    ...In Silicon Alley, Predictive Systems, a network consulting company, [will] cut 130 jobs, reducing its workforce of about 700 by about 18%. The company, based on Fifth Avenue in Midtown, reported a net loss in the final quarter of last year after 12 months of profitability....
    ["Oh no, one quarter of loss after four quarters of profit! Quick! Fire people!"]
    The cuts, the executives said, were designed to bring the company back to profitability by the third quarter of this year....
    [Real executives don't hack off 18% of their company to bring it back to profitability.]

  5. GenRad to cut jobs, consolidate plants, Bloomberg via Boston Globe, D5.
    ...A maker of electronic testing equipment...will cut 125 jobs, or 10% of its workforce as it consolidates two facilities...its San Diego imaging systems business and its Sierra research and technology facility..\..into a plant at its Westford MA headquarters.... It will outsource the manufacturing of its printed circuit boards....

  6. Layoffs at Motley Fool, AP via NYT, C4.
    The [firm] whose founders wear jester's caps as they offer financial advice on television has laid off 115 workers as part of a corporate revamping.

  7. Hasbro, with disappointing sales, to cut more jobs, AP via NYT, C3.
    The toy maker [plans] to eliminate 100 additional jobs after poor sales of Pokemon, Furby and Star Wars products led to a loss of $180m in the final 3 months of last year. ...The latest reductions [will] be made overseas and [will] be in addition to the 750 jobs it announced late last year [see 12/07/2000]. Hasbro...employs about 10,000 people worldwide....

  8. Icebox calling it quits, by Amy Harmon, NYT, C4.
    ...The Los Angeles-based Internet company that produced some of the most popular animated entertainment on the Web is shutting down today....unable to raise the $10m it needed to reach profitability.... The year-old concern, which had 106 employees at its height...is one of a string of Internet companies that have gone under in recent months.....
    [We reported 50 of these jobs on 11/30/2000 so that just leaves 106-50= 56 layoffs to count now.]

  9. TheStreet.com loss widens, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    ...as a result of a charge for shutting down its British operations, [unspecified] layoffs and a decision to end its venture with The New York Times Co....

  10. Web layoffs galore, but many find a net, by Jayson Blair [=‘Times reporter who resigned leaves long trail of deception,’ 5/11/2003 NYT, A1], NYT, A25.
    ...GoRefer.com, an online marketing concern, [is] going out of business....
    [Ergo, unspecified jobs lost.]

2/08/2001  7 downsizing reports in the NYT & Boston Globe, totaling 11,802 lost jobs -
  1. Verizon to cut equivalent of 10,000 jobs, mostly through attrition, Globe staff & Wire Services via Boston Globe, C5.
    Verizon Communications Inc. expects to cut the equivalent of 10,000 jobs this year, mostly by not filling vacancies and by cutting overtime and the use of contractors. But some layoffs are possible at the nation's largest local phone company. The reduction in in Verizon's core telephone operations is part of an ongoing effort to eliminate positions duplicated by last year's purchase of GTE and meet the cost-savings goals made possible by that merger.... About 6,000 of the 10,000 job cuts are expected to come from attrition. The remainder would be achieved by cutting 4,000 "full-time equivalents," meaning that overtime and contractor hires would be reduced by that number of 40-hour work weeks. Verizon employs roughly 18,500 people in Massachusetts.
    ...While some Verizon departments may be downsizing, other departments are likely to be adding jobs. These growing departments could absorb some of the layoffs in shrinking departments....

  2. GS Industries, a maker of steel rods, seeks protection, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...a result of increased competition and higher energy costs..\.. North America's largest producer of steel wire rod [will] close its plant in Kansas City, Mo. [and] cut by about half the production of the closely held company.... The company, based in Charlotte, NC, [will] dismiss the 760 workers at the Missouri plant, which produced about 800,000 tons of wire rod a year....

  3. Bookseller on the Web to cut staff, by Jayson Blair [=‘Times reporter who resigned leaves long trail of deception,’ 5/11/2003 NYT, A1], NYT, A27.
    BarnesandNoble.com Inc., the No. 2 Web-based bookseller in the United States [after Amazon.com, will] eliminate about 350 jobs in an effort to cut costs. The cuts will reduce the company's work force of 2,180 by about 16%, and will include some positions at the online store's corporate HQ in Manhattan's Silicon Alley and at a warehouse in Rockleigh, NJ. The company is also cutting jobs in Santa Clara, Calif., and in Kentucky at its Fatbrain.com operation, an online bookstore that it acquired in November. The layoffs came as the company...reported a loss that was larger than Wall Street's forecasts.
    "While we regret the impact of the consolidation in human terms, we believe the changes are necessary," said Steve Riggio, vice chairman of BarnesandNoble.com....
    [Workforce "consolidation" is never necessary except in cases of corporate extremis. Workweek adjustment, including consolidations well as expansion, however, should be going on constantly, in response to market conditions. The only companies that do this today are Lincoln Electric and especially, Nucor Steel, the most advanced corporate designs in the world today.]

  4. Tyco cuts 250 jobs at Mass. unit plant, Bloomberg via Boston Globe, C9.
    Tyco International Ltd...cut 250 jobs at a Simplex Time Recorder plant in Westminster [Mass.] about 5 weeks after buying the company. About 160 jobs are professional and management positions while about 90 are manufacturing. The plant had about 1,850 workers before the cuts.... Shares...fell....
    [Takeover-downsizing on the part of a mgmt group that knows nothing else.]

  5. Burnett USA to cut 9% of its work force, by Bernard Stamler, NYT, C6.
    Leo Burnett USA in Chicago, part of the Leo Burnett Worldwide unit of the Bcom3 Group, is making the largest single job cut in its history, dismissing 9%, or 200, of its estimated 2,145 employees...because Bcom3 is preparing for an IPO in 2001-2002.
    [Huh? There's a stupid reason. Trash your morale on the shaky assumption that downsizing will hype your IPO. Their CEO is aptly named a combination of brine and vinegar -]
    Brad Brinegar, CEO of Burnett USA...attribut[ed] the dismissals to a need for "getting ahead of the curve and making our organization more adept at competing in a dynamic marketplace."
    [But as Prof. Gary Chaison of Clark U. Mgmt School asks (on 1/29/2001), "This common apology for major work-force reductions is seriously flawed when we regard workers as valuable assets rather than as simply operating costs to be cut. Why should a company that has shed well-trained and experienced workers and increased the workload of the remaining ones be considered more efficient [or competitive]?" - especially when we're talking about sensitive ad underwriters for whom morale is everything.]
    The layoffs are being made across the board...and are effective immediately. Almost all of the jobs involved are at the Chicago headquarters....

  6. More cuts at online postage service, NYT, C5.
    Stamps.com...said yesterday that it would reduce its work force by 50%. The company laid off 150 employees in Santa Monica, Calif., and Bellevue, Wash., in what company officials said was a continuing effort to streamline operations and to achieve profitability....
    [We'll assume that the 150 is the 50%. See also their 240 layoffs on 10/24/2000.]

  7. Amwest reducing staff by 26% and is closing offices, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    The Amwest Insurance Group [will] reduce its work force...to about 255 from 347 [i.e., by 92 people]..\..and close a...number of branch offices, scaling back [to] "focus on smaller, more specialized surety accounts"..\..as it negotiates with creditors....

2/07/2001  4 downsizing reports in the NYT & Boston Globe, totaling 1,255 lost jobs -
[Not to mention economywide story "Survey shows job cuts at an 8-year high," Bloomberg via NYT, C9, where we read, "[U.S.] Businesses announced plans to cut 142,208 jobs last month, up 6.3% from the 133,713 cuts announced in December, according to the placement firm, Challenger Gray & Christmas of Chicago. It was the first time the number of jobs cuts surpassed 100,000 for two consecutive months, and it was the largest monthly total since the survey began in 1993. Compared with those in [Jan/00] the number of announced cuts increased 181% in Jan[/01]. Announcements of job cuts are not the same as layoffs because many of the reductions will be made through attrition or early retirement.... The unemployment rate rose to 4.2% in Jan., the highest in more than a year.... Businesses also added 268,000 jobs last month, the most since 410,000 in April." We wonder how many of those jobs pay as well as the ones lost, and among those that do, how many are just "trollers" - high-qualification jobs with no training that employers publish along with others to see if a "cherry" candidate will fall into their laps. In short, layoffs are usually quick; re-employment is usually slow; as that lag builds, and dampens consumer spending, self-fueling recession (vicious circle) spreads.]
  1. Viatel issues warning and will cut work force by 30%, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    ...A provider of telecomms services [will] cut its work force...as it realigns its business.... Viatel, based in New York, [will] leave some of its consumer businesses and focus on broadband communications services to businesses....
    [NYT editors slip up again and fail to provide the number of layoffs. Reuters 17:46 02-06-01 via AOLNews says, "it will eliminate about 700 jobs, or 30% of its workforce, in a restructuring. The move is intended to reduce expenses and streamline the company operations...."]

  2. [Here's another one you really have to dig for (did Ted Turner give the boys&girls a signal to quit "scaring" people with the hard facts?) -]
    Toshiba cuts profit outlook, by Miki Tanikawa, NYT, W1.
    ...Toshiba also said its American unit would lay of 500 assembly line workers and engineers at its computer-making plant in Irvine, Calif., and shift much of the work to Asia.

  3. Inc.com changing focus; 37 laid off, IPO canceled, by Chris Reidy, Boston Globe, D3.
    ...The online unit of Inc. magazine that aspired to be a small-business portal [is] downsizing its goals and reducing its staff from 53 to 16 employees, effective immediately...because of "changes in the marketplace".... Inc.com, which along with Inc. magazine was acquired last summer by publisher G+J USA after Inc. founder Bernard Goldhirsh became ill...will be "restaged" as a small-business information Web site with the goal of driving subscriptions, conferences, and sales for Inc.-branded products. "Inc.com was never profitable," \departing] president Robert LaPointe...said. "It was still burning cash."...
    [Or is this just another case of the lethal takeover-downsizing syndrome?]

  4. Lucent closes Silicon Valley laboratory - Telecommunications giant flounders in a fast-paced culture - Dot-com fever hindered the hiring of researchers, by John Markoff, NYT, C4.
    The Bell Labs unit of Lucent Technologies laid off 18 researchers at its Palo Alto research center [yester]day, quietly ending a 1½ year effort to create a Silicon Valley beachhead.... Although the number...was small compared with the 10,000 employees that Lucent is now planning to lay off worldwide, its symbolism was larger. In 1999 a stronger Lucent, under its former chief executive, Richard McGinn, had sought to establish a major center to attract some of the Valley's best scientists to one of the world's foremost corporate research laboratories.
    [Isn't it inspiring how nobly these masturbators over human-generated confusion don the mantle of "science," "scientists," "research," and "lab," as if they were fighting cancer or something?! -]
    With a research agenda that extended from digital communication technologies to basic research in cryptography, Lucent established the lab in the same building where Xerox's legendary Palo Alto Research Center was founded 25 years ago..\..
    "I think this is unprecedented," said David Nagel, head of AT&T Labs, the sibling research arm to Bell Labs that was created after Lucent was spun off. "I can't ever remember laying off an entire research group in the history of Bell Labs."...
    But the Lucent effort ran aground in a stodgy and slow-moving East Coast culture that failed to attract Silicon Valley talent during the dot-com explosion, according to several people close to the venture.
    [Oh, so now they're trying to blame the East Coast?!]
    ...The lab was able to hire very few of its best prospects, said one of the researchers [adding] that applicants would call back after a week, and upon learning that no decision had been made would decide they were not wanted and would accept another job elsewhere. "The basic problem is they insisted on controlling everything from the top," he said.
    "Silicon Valley is littered with the corpses of these research centers [e.g., Interval Labs]," said Paul Saffo, a longtime computer and telecoms consultant at the Institute for the Future in Menlo Park, Calif....

2/06/2001  6 downsizing reports in the NYT & Boston Globe, totaling 1,139 lost jobs -
  1. Facing drop in revenue, Razorfish is planning more cuts, by Jayson Blair [=‘Times reporter who resigned leaves long trail of deception,’ 5/11/2003 NYT, A1], NYT, C8.
    ...One of the oldest and most established Internet consulting and design companies in Manhattan's Silicon Alley [is] laying off about 400 employees [which] will reduce the company's workforce of 1,800 by 22%...in Razorfish offices worldwide.... The company has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Frankfurt and 11 other cities....

  2. eToys to lay off its remaining workers, by Matt Richtel, NYT, C8.
    SAN FRANCISCO- ...The once high-flying Internet toy retailer [will] lay off its 293 remaining employees and shut its doors on April 6, barring an 11th-hour rescue in the form of a large investor or a strategic partner.... The employees [now being eliminated] work predominantly in two distribution centers, in Ontario, Calif., and Blairs, Va.

  3. Keane slashes jobs, sells help-desk unit, Bloomberg via Boston Globe, D7.
    ...[A firm] which helps companies plan and manage their use of software...cut about 176 jobs and agreed to sell its help-desk business to an unnamed buyer for an undisclosed price to focus on consulting.... The cuts represent about 2% of the company's workforce of 8,800.... The help-desk business includes technical support centers in Kirkland, Wash., and Tucson.... Keane took a pretax charge of $13-15m in Q4 to close osme offices and cut the jobs....

  4. WestPoint Stevens laying off 125 at 3 plants, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...A leading maker of bedding and towels [is] laying off 125 people at 3 No. Carolina sites as part of a...reorganization...announced...in June..\.. The layoffs will occur at 2 plants and a distribution center in Roanoke Rapids, NC. The sites will still employ about 500 people.... WestPoint Stevens has about 16,800 employees.
    [Funny how no matter how many people they lay off, Bloomberg News never seems to decrement their workforce. On Jan. 30 they had "more than 16,000 people" before laying off 468. Now they're way up to 16,800. Hel-lo-o, anybody awake? See 1/30/2001 and 10/07/2000.]

  5. Harmonic to cut 100 jobs, Bloomberg via NYT, C8.
    ...A...Sunnyvale, Calif.-based..\..maker of equipment used to provide Internet service over cable television lines [will] cut...about 10% of its work force to reduce costs...because some of its major customers had slowed spending.
    [Well, this should cut Harmonic's harmony too.]

  6. Voter.com pulls plug, fires 45 - Despite millions of users, Web site found no profit in politics, by Ross Kerber, Boston Globe, D1.
    ...Managers and investors decided to shut down operations..\..ending one of the most heavily promoted attempts to find an audience for public discourse online...after failing to find new investors for the site's mix of news, chat boards, legislative data, and campaign ads.... The closures will put out of work Voter.com's 45 employees, who are split between the company's office in Washington, DC and its Boston headquarters....

2/03/2001  5 downsizing reports in the NYT & Boston Globe, totaling 1,569 lost jobs -
  1. Nokia is shifting some production out of U.S., Bloomberg via NYT, B3.
    ...The world's leading cell-phone maker [will] shift some of its handset manufacturing...to its lower-cost plants in South Korea and Mexico.
    [It's Perot's "giant sucking sound" again, as CEOs pound another nail in the coffin of their American workforce - and markets.]
    The shift will cut 800 jobs [14.5%] from Nokia's work force in Texas, currently 5,500 employees, 3,000 of whom work in the Dallas-Fort Worth area....

  2. Janus Capital, citing slower demand, is cutting 468 jobs, Bloomberg via NYT, B3.
    ...A unit of the financial conglomerate Stilwell Financial \plans\ to cut 468 customer-support jobs, 16% of its work force, in response to slowing demand for its products and increased automation of its services.
    [There they go again, proving just how much "technology creates more jobs than it destroys."]
    The jobs being cut include phone operators, mail processors and trainers....

  3. El Sitio, an Internet provider, is cutting staff, Bloomberg via NYT, B3.
    ...An Internet provider...based in Buenos Aires \plans\ to cut 125 jobs [25%] as it trie[s] to trim costs before its acquisition by the Cisneros Group, the Venezuelan media giant, and Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, the private equity firm. El Sitio, which has about 500 workers [expects] to save $8-9m a year.
    [It'll "save" 125 of its best customers too.]
    ...The cuts [will be] in marketing, advertising, sales and administration.... In October, Cisneros and Hicks Muse agreed to take over El Sitio to form Claxson Interactive Group.
    [Again, the lethal takeover-downsizing connection.]

  4. Zebco halts US production, AP via Boston Globe, F1.
    The factory that supplied generations of Americans with their first fishing reels closed after 52 years as Zebco shifted production to Asia. Zebco laid off its last 100 assembly workers, after scaling down from about 300 last year. Zebco could no longer compete with cheaper and flashier reels produced by tackle firms that made the same move two decades ago, said president Jeff Pontius.
    [Apt name, just like Pontius Pilate - "It's not my fault - I wash my hands of the whole thing - His own people want Him crucified - take Him to Herod."]
    Pontius said Zebco lost about 40% of the reel market share between 1995 and 2000. Its volume peaked at 7m reels in 1995. It cost nearly 30% less to make Zebco reels in China, according to Zebco....

  5. Internet company Netpliance is laying off 76, Bloomberg via NYT, B3.
    Netpliance in Austin, Tex., [will] dismiss...54% of its staff...as it continue[s] to reorganize into a high-speed Internet services company. Netpliance, which has abandoned its i-opener Internet appliance business, said the job cuts would reduce operating expenses by about $6m a year and leave it with about 50 employees....

2/2/2001  9 downsizing reports in the NYT & Boston Globe, totaling 61,610 lost jobs -
  1. GE expected to shed 50,000 jobs - Cuts predicted with Honeywell purchase, Bloomberg via Boston Globe, C2.
    General Electric Co. may eliminate about 50,000 jobs [11%] as it absorbs Honeywell International Inc., shifts more business to the Internet, and pares positions from its economically sensitive units, analysts and investors estimate.
    [Again, the lethal takeover-downsizing connection. Efficiency is a great macho goal until CEOs find out they've made their markets leaner and meaner too. Always looking for the free lunch, markets without employees. Always blindered from the long term.]
    Some 20-30,000 jobs will be trimmed at Honeywell, once it's acquired, and another 11,000 will be lost to Internet automation, analysts said.
    [Again, where are those who yap about "technology creates more jobs than it destroys." Its point is to save hours of work, but if those hours are agglomerated so CEOs can cut workforce, not workweek, they eventually create a self-accelerating reduction of their collective consumer base.]
    At least 2,000 may come from economically sensitive units as the company responds to [and exacerbates] a slowing expansion in the US economy.... GE hasn't disclosed a specific number. It employs 340,000; Honeywell employs 120,000....
    Business Week magazine, in its online edition, said GE plans to shed at least 75,000 jobs, citing unnamed analysts and people close to the company. Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Michael Regan...is estimating the reduction at about 60,000....

  2. Steel maker will cut jobs and production in Britain, by Alan Cowell, NYT, W1.
    Britain's beleaguered heavy-industrial sector took a severe knock today when the Corus Group, a leading European steel maker, said it would cut 6,050 jobs, a fifth of its work force, mostly in regions of Britain already economically depressed by long declines in the coal, steel and shipbuilding businesses.
    The British government sharply urged Corus to reconsider the reductions.... Said Steven Byers, the minister of trade and industry, "We want Corus to think again and to work with government and trades unions to identify a better way forward"..\..
    [Got one right here - cut hours, not jobs - "timesizing," not downsizing.]
    And the national steel union said that although its members had increased productivity, "today Corus is stabbing those same British workers in the back."
    The company [was] formed in 1999 by a $2.4B merger of British Steel and Royal Hoogovens of the Netherlands.
    [Again, the lethal takeover-downsizing slide.]
    ...The cutbacks are needed, it said, to stem losses and reduce output to "a level which is consistent with a sustainable domestic market share."
    [Reducing output by reducing workforce instead of workweek will reduce domestic markets further and necessitate further reductions. Sooner or later, Corus and all the rest will have to switch to reducing workweek, not workforce, or there'll be no employment-earnings-spending at all.]
    Steel making operations in South Wales and Northeast England will be closed or scaled back, Corus said. The announcement was the latest in a string of setbacks for Corus, whose creation was supposed to overcome deep problems facing the industry,...
    [Creations resulting from mergers con't overcome problems - they ARE the problems.]
    ...including overcapacity and the difficulty of competing with cheaper imports from Eastern Europe when the pound is strong against the euro.
    [Ah, "overcapacity" - that familiar word from the Great Depression!]
    Last year, Corus announced 4,500 layoffs....

  3. After 4th-quarter loss, Air Canada plans job cuts, by Timothy Pritchard, NYT, C3.
    High fuel prices, harsh weather and the cost of taking over its main rival [Canadian Air, led] Air Canada...to trim costs [by] cutting 3,500 jobs, 8% of its work force, and grounding older aircraft.
    [Again, the takeover-downsizing chute.]

  4. French car parts concern to eliminate 1,000 jobs, by John Tagliabue, NYT, W1.
    Valeo of France, one of Europe's biggest autoparts makers, [will] eliminate about 1,000 jobs in the next six months at factories in North America because its forecasts for the global automobile market predicted a slowdown in the European market. It also expects a drop in volumes in the North America and Asian markets....
    [Let's call a spade a spade. It won't be a drop. It'll be a series of drops, and that's a cascade.]

  5. Pentair cuts 400 jobs at tool unit headquarters, Bloomberg via NYT, C3.
    ...A maker of power tools and electrical equipment...cut 400 jobs since the end of Q3.... The company said 340 of the jobs came from its tools unit, where it closed production the last two weeks of December and the first two weeks of January.... The company also said it cut half the staff at its HQ, closed executive offices in Minneapolis and moved the operations to its offices in St. Paul..\.. Pentair employs 13,000 people....

  6. Pittston posts $220m loss and cuts 350 jobs, Bloomberg via NYT, C3.
    ...[The owner of] Brink's security and the BAX freight business...cut 350 jobs...as demand for its transportation and management services slowed. ...It cut the jobs at its BAX unit as part of a revamping to reduce capacity and costs at its air transportation business.... Shares...fell....

  7. Worthington [Industries] idles Pennsylvania steel lines, Bloomberg via NYT, C5.
    ...which cuts and coats steel for customers like automakers [is] laying off 160 employees at a plant in Malvern, Pa., as its shuts some production lines. The job cuts represent about 2% of Worthington's 8,000 employees. About 90 people will continue to be employed at the Malvern plant operating equipment that makes nickel, zinc and painted products, said a spokesperson, Cathy Mayne Lyttle....

  8. Zefer lays off 120, by D.C. Denison, Boston Globe, C7.
    Internet consultant Zefer Corp. of Boston...has laid off...about 15% of its work force in a bid to keep the company profitable in a rougher business climate. This week's layoffs hit workers in various offices, including Boston's, and across all employee levels, said Sara Buda, a spokeswoman for the closely held company....

  9. Cambridge firm institutes layoffs, by Stephanie Stoughton, Boston Globe, C7.
    Cambridge Incubator, the stylish "venture campus" located in Kendall Sq, has restructured, reducing its core team from "around 50" to close to 20.
    ["Ain't we a great team. Now, 30 of you - you're fired!"]

2/01/2001  6 downsizing reports in the NYT & Boston Globe, totaling 3,641 lost jobs -
  1. Shopko [Stores] will close 23 stores and cut 2,300 jobs, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    The regional discounter [will] close 23 of its nearly 400 stores and a distribution center...as part of a revamping plan. The closings include stores in Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Ken., Mo., and Neb.... About 136 of the jobs to be cut are at the company's HQ...in Green Bay, Wis.

  2. Electrabel plans layoffs, by Paul Meller, NYT, W1.
    The Belgian utilities group [plans] to eliminate 1,700 jobs by 2003 as part of a revamping intended to refocus the company on its four core operations: electricity production, trading, network management and sales. Some employees in noncore positions will be retrained and reassigned to the core operations.
    [They ALL should be "retrained and reassigned to core operations."]
    The company expects to "have" to lay off about 800 employees of a total of 15,235.
    [Our quotes - ed. So we have 800 layoffs out of 15,235 is a 5% workforce reduction.]

  3. Tenneco Automotive to trim an additional 405 positions, Dow Jones via NYT, C4.
    ...Tenneco, which is based in Lake Forest, Ill. \plans\ to eliminate up to an additional 405 salaried positions worldwide, because of increasingly difficult conditions in the automotive supply market. The jobcuts follow 700 layoffs announced in Oct. The latest "cost-reduction plan" [our quotes] is expected to be fully completed by the end of 1Q02.... The two rounds of job reductions will pare the company's salaried staff by 22%.... Charges related to the latest job cuts are expected to total up to $14m in 2001.

  4. CarsDirect.com buying a rival, AP via NYT, C4.
    The [privately held] online auto broker...bought a struggling rival, Greenlight.com, in an all-stock deal.... The purchase...will result in the loss of most, if not all, of Greenlight's remaining 75 employees....

  5. 36 lose jobs at Herald's new papers - Community chain's editor replaced by executive at tabloid, by Mark Jurkowitz, Boston Globe, D1.
    On the brink of closing his deal to buy Community Newspaper Co. [CNC] from Fidelity Investments, Boston Herald publisher Patrick Purcell moved swiftly yesterday to put his stamp on the new operation, laying off 36 CNC employees and replacing its top editor, Mary Jo Meisner, with Herald managing editor Kevin Convey....

  6. Fact City trims 33% of work force, by Peter Howe, Boston Globe, D9.
    ...A Waltham start-up that provides Q&A content to websites...is cutting about 25 of its 75 employees to cope with a downturn in the Web portal business....

Click here for downsizing stories in -
prior to Sept. 30/98.

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