Timesizing® Associates - HOMEPAGE

Downsizings, Jan. 16-31, 2003
[Commentary] ©2003 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 117, Harvard Square, Cambridge MA 02238 USA (617) 623-8080


1/31/2003   4 downsizing equivalents (3 downsizings & 1 explosion), totaling 2,836 lost jobs, reported in Wall Street Journal & New York Times -

  1. Coca-Cola to lay off 1,000 employees in North America, by Sherri Day, NYT, C4.
    ...a part of the company's plan to realign its business in North America by combining its soda, fountain drink, Minute Maid and water divisions...expected to be completed by the end of March.... 500 of the jobcuts will be made in Atlanta.... The company [will] simplify its supply chain and combine its information tech, HR, sales and finance staffs. Coke's last major round of layoffs was [on 1/272000 #1], when it eliminated 5,000 jobs.
    [Don't know where they got that. Their own frontpage article said 6,000.]
    The company employs 12,000 workers in the U.S. and 30,000 people worldwide.
    [Hmm, that's how many is employed 3 years ago, f rom which the 6,000 layoffs then should have been deducted. Barring further information, we're going to assume the 30,000 figure is old, go with 30000-6000= 24,000, and regard the current 1,000 layoff as 1000/24000= 4% of the total pre-cut workforce.]

  2. West Coast law firm closing after dot-com collapse, by Jonathan Glater, NYT, C1.
    Partners at the San Francisco lay firm of Brobeck Phleger & Harrison decided yesterday to wind down the firm, bringing to an end a 77-year-old Bay Area institution that rose flamboyantly and rapidly on the Internet boom.
    [What is this, an epidemic? Check out Hill & Barlow on 1/30/2003 #3, and that Bahston firm's lasted since 1895 - what's that, 2003-1895= 108 years old. Maybe this is part of the oaf-ication of America mentioned by Norman Cousins on Charlie Rose the other night. Cousins thought that Vietnam started it - an unjustified war, fought by demoralized Americans on booze and drugs who came home brutalized, followed by a string of increasingly less justified wars. The Dems smear themselves with Vietnam, so in desperation we elect a cheater, who at least opens up with People's China and doesn't resign till he's lost Spiro "Zero" Agnew. Then we get the stumbler. Then we got the peanut farmer who didn't have a vision newer than the New Deal, then 40 years old. Then we got the actor who won on small gov't, pitched himself as a conservative and ran the federal gov't and the national debt up into the trillions via the Pentagon. He claimed to win the Cold War but if it wasn't for a guy with some common sense on hte other side, we could all be toast. Then we got the CIA director, then the shmuck who didn't know when to keep his mouth shut, and now the shmuck who doesn't know when to disclose.]
    The decision came after efforts to merge with Morgan Lewis & Brockus...failed on Wednesday....
    [Whadda buncha wimps. Blocked on a cash-out and boohoo, they're not gonna play any more, even tho they're shredding a 77-year history.]
    Brobeck employs just over 500 lawyers around the country, down from more than 900 in 2000; it lost nearly one-third of its lawyers last year. [That's going to be 900 lost jobs altogether, of which we've only heard of 19+17 but only counted the 19, on 6/18/2001 #1. So we now need to count the rest, 900-19= 881 jobcuts.]

  3. Toys 'R' Us says it is eliminating 700 supervisory jobs, AP via NYT, C4.
    ...management and supervisory positions...as the company reallocated labor in 400 stores in the U.S. The CEO, John Eyler Jr...said the money saved would go toward training and toward allowing sales reps to spend more time in the stores.
    [If they avoided the layoffs with hourscuts instead, they wouldn't need to spend any money on training.]
    On Jan. 9, Mr Eyler said a decline in sales during the holiday season would keep the company from meeting analysts' earnings forecast for its 2002 fiscal year, which ends Feb. 1.
    [Finally, the truth. But again, this klutz is deepening recession - and dropping his own sales - by downsizing when in profit. He's putting analysts and stock price before his own employees, so he doesn't deserve any of them.]

  4. Explosion extinguishes one of North Carolina town's few bright spots - Seeking clues in a blast that killed three and idled hundreds, by David Halbfinger, NYT, A16.
    KINSTON, NC...- Before Wednesday, the 255 people who worked at this town's bustling medical-supply plant counted themselves lucky to work hard shifts mixing hot chemicals and stamping out syringes for $11-12 an hour.... But after the Wed. afternoon explosion that set the West Pharmaceutical Services factory ablaze, killing 3 workers and injuring 37, those who emerged unscathed or had been scheduled for a later shift were counting their blessings for a different reason....
    Workers said the explosion occurred in a part of the factory known as automated compounding systems, the half of the plant that makes rubber and plastic from chemicals like polymers, sulfur, clay and oils...in or near one of the two mixers that combine those ingredients under heat..\.. Accident investigators from the US Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board said their interviews with plant managers and workers [yester]day led them to zero in on dust as a possible cause of the blast.... "Dust poses a potential ignition hazard," said Sandy Gilmour, a spokesman for the Chemical Safety Board....
    Among the dozens of workers who gathered to be interviewed by investigators, it was the CEO...Don Morel, who received the most attention.... In an interview, Mr. Morel said his priority was the families of the victims, the wounded workers, and his displaced employees; the company [will] pay workers through the end of February....
    For this close-knit county seat of 25,000, the reality that one of its largest and best-regarded emloyers had been dealt a devastating blow left residents contemplating a streak of bad luck that has upended thousands of lives in recent years. Hurricane Floyd in 1999 destroyed hundreds of homes. Textile mills, tobacco processors and a DuPont plant have all closed or cut back, costing an estimted 4,000 jobs. The explosion seemed likely to add to that total, officials said....

1/30/2003   1 downsizing, totaling 10,000 jobcuts, reported in Wall Street Journal & New York Times
(not counting 12 lost jobs mentioned in "Tech crew [from CNET] makes last-ditch bid for [new] jobs - on eBay," by Chris Gaither, Boston Globe, C5) - 1/29/2003   5 downsizings, totaling 3,095 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in WSJ (Wall Street Journal) & NYT (New York Times) -
  1. Pennsylvania: Cutting...jobs in Philadelphia, AP via NYT, A21.
    Mayor John Street [will] eliminate more than 1,600 city jobs over the next 5 years to try to avert a projected fiscal crisis.... With flat revenue, increasing healthcare costs and a weak stock market, the city's budget deficit is projected at $834m by 2008..\..
    [Excuses, excuses. The money's all still there. The only thing that's changed is that the top brackets decided they wanted to hold onto much more of their unspendable spending power, so every year they damaged the centrifugal forces on the income of the city (and state and nation) a little more, including taxes. If the workweek had automatically adjusted to keep labor from going into gross pay-punishing surplus, then the top brackets would not have had to condense into Condition Black Hole, and strangle the markets away from their own investments.]
    Mr. Street also planned to close recreation centers and pools and limit contributions to the city's pension fund....
    [The strangulation tightens and the recession spreads. And mainstream economists, never exactly thinkers outside the box, continue their silence.]

  2. Internet service firm to cut staff by 25%, shut 4 facilities, WSJ, B5.
    In an effort to cut costs, EarthLink Inc. [will] shut down...centers in Dallas, Seattle, Sacramento...and Pasadena...in the next 2 months. Although Earthlink's position as the nation's No. 3 Internet service provider was built on its reputation for excellent customer service [and] it will continue to provide in-house customer service for high-speed Internet, wireless and business accounts,.\.. it will now begin outsourcing all customer service for its dial-up Internet accounts....
    [Sigh, another suicidal CEO. Too bad he takes so many people with him.]
    The Atlanta-based company...expects the closings to affect 1,300 of its 5,100 employees..\..
    [Why? The WSJ doesn't answer this question but the NYT's version (C6) does -]
    ...to save money....
    [Another example of how CEOs, business schools and economists at the beginning of the Third Millennium have failed to grasp how to save money without losing skills, morale, productivity and markets.]

  3. Plans are made to trim staff in Argentina and Brazil by 75%, by Dow Jones via WSJ, A6.
    Bank of America Corp. is reducing its presence in Latin America, slashing...workforce at two important operations in the region following a year of high market volatility. The global investment bank is eliminating [Totaling 150+25+20= 195 jobcuts.]
    While the bank's Brazil unit will halt investment-banking operations, it will maintain its asset-management arm [and] keep 40 employees, while the staff in Argentina will number 25....
    [See previous mention on 11/20/2002 #3.]

  4. Adelphia Communications to move corporate headquarters to Denver, AP via NYT, C6.
    The Adelphia Communications Corp. will move its HQ from Coudersport PA where it was founded....the company's board decided yesterday. The move, which is subject to approval of regulators and the US Bankruptcy Court, will take place by midyear.... The move was rumored since Adelphia hired William Schleyer and Ronald Cooper on Jan. 17 as CEO and COO, respectively. Both are former executives with AT&T Broadband, which was based in Denver until it was acquired by Comcast, based in Philadelphia, in November.
    [Oh great, now thousands of people get inconvenienced for the convenience of two stuffed shirts.]
    ...About 1,400 of its 14,000 employees work at its operations center in Coudersport, and most would be unaffected by the move.
    [But some would be "affected." Ergo, unspecified jobcuts.]
    The new HQ is expected to employ about 150 people.

  5. Canada's Noranda plans to shut magnesium facility temporarily, by Mark Heinzl, WSJ, B2.
    TORONTO - Blaming fast-growing Chinese production of magnesium, Canadian mining company...plans to shutter for at least a year a recently built 1.2B Canadian dollar (US$787m) plant in Quebec that produces the metal....
    [Indefinite and over a year counts as jobcuts - unspecified jobcuts.]

1/28/2003   3 downsizings, totaling 67 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in WSJ (Wall Street Journal) & NYT (New York Times) -
  1. Illinois: Ex-governor's appointees lose jobs, AP via NYT, A17.
    Gov. Rod Blagojevich sent pink slips to 28 former employees and allies of former Gov. George Ryan, the second round of firings since Mr. Blagojevich took office. He focused on people whom Mr. Ryan appointed in his final days in office. Mr. Blagojevich had dismissed 35 other appointees.
    [28+35= 63 dismissals.]
    Mr. Ryan had won a change in state rules that let him appoint people to 4-year jobs that Mr. Blagojevich could not eliminate [and] then named former staff members, former legislators and other friends to those positions. But Mr. Blagojevich said Mr. Ryan had ignored regulations that forbid politically motivated hiring practices.
    [If they enforced that, there'd probably be no government hiring at all. (Hey, not a bad idea!)]

  2. Walt Disney Co. - Board is to decrease by 4 to 13 as part of governance changes, Dow Jones via WSJ, D8.

  3. Realignment plan is to include operational changes, job cuts, Dow Jones via WSJ, D8.
    Art auctioneer Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg, severing all ties with its former parent, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, will restructure its operations, cut jobs by nearly 50% and reposition itself as a private arat seller as much as a public auctioneer. The realignment moves the company out of direct competition with larger rivals Sotheby's Holdings Inc. and Christie's International in some higher-end sectors of the art market....
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

1/25/2003   1 downsizing, totaling 56 jobcuts, reported in WSJ (Wall Street Journal) & NYT (New York Times)
(not counting BG-reported "Genuity to fire up to 800," by Jeffrey Krasner, Boston Globe, C1, and statewide "Jobless rate edges up [to 5.2% in Dec. in Massachusetts]," by Christopher Rowland, Boston Globe, C1, and economywide "Brazil: Jobless rate falls [from 10.9 to 10.5% in Dec.]," by Tony Smith, NYT, B3) - 1/24/2003   5 downsizings, totaling 8,404 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in WSJ & NYT
(not counting economywide "Initial jobless claims rise...," AP via NYT, C5, which states, "The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 18,000 last week, the Labor Dept. reported [yester]day," and "Dow Jones's net fell...," pointer summary (to B3), WSJ, front page, which continues, "...fell 53% as a better-than-expected advertising performance was more than offset by costs related to jobcuts.") -
  1. JDS Uniphase Corp., WSJ, B4.
    ...The San Jose CA fiber-optics parts maker...had a net loss of $214.9m [and] is undertaking further workforce reductions and site closures but didn't offer specifics. JDS...has 7,000 employees, down from 8,000 in October and 29,000 at its peak in early 2001.
    [Meaning they've cut 29000-7000= 22,000 since early 2001. All we caught last year was an "undisclosed number of job reductions" on 7/26/2002 #6, and all we caught in 2001 was 16,000 by the figures on 7/27/2001 #2. That leaves 22000-16000= 6,000 jobcuts still to be counted, which would be 6000/(7000+6000)= 6000/13000= 46% of the total pre-cut workforce.]

  2. It's official: British society outlasts Tupperware parties, by Suzanne Kapner, NYT, A11.
    [Boy, there's a stupid headline for ya.]
    LONDON -...Tupperware said today that it would disband its nearly 1,700-strong direct sales force in Britain and stop selling its products here through parties in homes and apartments....

  3. United Airlines to lay off 704 more flight attendants, Bloomberg via NYT, C3.
    ...A unit of the UAL Corp. [will] lay off...about 3% of its total next month because it had reduced flights and amenities like meal service. United, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, will lay off the workers by Feb. 22, the United Assoc. of Flight Attendants said. The union asked some of the carrier's 23,000 attendants to volunteer for the layoffs or split with co-workers. The carrier has been reducing flights, switching to smaller aircraft on some routes and dropping some food service as it scales back.
    [Previous self-mutilation on 1/04/2003. This takes our running balance of total workforce down to 78312-704= 77,608. But 704/77608= 0.9%. If 704 is now all of 3% of the total, the total must now be 704/3x100= 23,467. Quite a jump from 80,000 on 1/04. We're going to assume that the 3% here refers to total flight attendants only. Compare the article below -]
    Pilots' union at American to consider givebacks, AP via NYT, B4.
    ...The unions representing 23,000 flight attendants and 36,000 mechanics and ground workers have already agreed to negotiations on contract relief....
    [If the largest airline has a rounded figure of 23,000 flight attendants, a flight-attendant figure of 23,467 for the 2d-largest is in the ballpark.]

  4. National Century Financial Enterprises to close down as widespread woes are disclosed, by Paul Beckett, WSJ, B2.
    ...The scandal-ridden healthcare financier..\..will cease operations in the next few months after the restructuring experts brought in to revive [it] decided that its problems were even more widespread than originally thought....
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]
    David Coles, a corporate-restructuring specialist with Alvarez & Marsal Inc. of New York, who took over as National Century's CEO in November, [said] "I've been involved in badly run businesses...but I've not had experience with a falsification of information component that compares to this."...

  5. In 7 days, a hedge fund lost all value, by Henny Sender & Jason Singer, WSJ, C1.
    ...A $300m hedge fund in Japan is being wound down after losing virtually all its capital in just 7 trading days in early January..\..a spectacularly rapid demise... - the latest illustration of the perils of such secretive and increasingly popular investment partnerships. Eifuku Master Fund, run by a former Lehman Bros. Tokyo-based trader, took huge bets with borrowed money on a limited number of trades that went wrong....
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

1/23/2003   3 downsizings, totaling 5,459 jobcuts, reported in WSJ & NYT -
  1. Merrill shows profit, but gloom prevails - Merrill shows a 4th-quarter profit, but outlook is gloomy by Patrick McGeehan, NYT, C1, C12.
    ...For the last two years, Merrill has been laying off employees and closing brokerage offices worldwide. The firm eliminated 2,300 more jobs last quarter and now has cut more than 21,000 jobs, or 30% of its workforce, since 2000....
    [We counted up to 17,400 cuts on 7/25/2002 #1, but after that we only counted 400 on 11/06/2002 #3 (despite mention of current balance of 18,600 cuts) and 100 on 12/11/2002 #6, so we've only counted 17400+400+100= 17,900 jobcuts. Sooo, we must now count 21000-17900= 3,100 jobcuts. Their workforce after the last cut of 100 was down to 52,900, so the currently counted cut is 3100/(52900+3100)= 3100/56000= 5.5% of the precut total.]
    Merrill has cut much deeper and made more sweeping changes during this downturn than any other firm on Wall Street....
    [Followup -]
    Schwab announces cost cuts, [by Walsh & McGeehan,] 3/14/2003 WSJ, C3.
    ...Merrill Lynch & Co. has cut its ranks by 29%, or 20,700 people....

  2. Eastman Kodak posts disappointing net, plans new layoffs, by James Bandler, WSJ, A3.
    ...The company..\..tripped up by falling film sales and a plunge in print-making, reported Q4 earnings that were worse than analysts expected.... Kodak...will slash 2,200 jobs this year, or about 3% of its workforce. Many of the dismissals will occur in the company's photo-finishing business....
    [It's awesome the way the long wave, the Kondratieff, works on the way down - though it's not an economic 'given' that it will come back up and therefore be automatically 'cyclical' rather than permanently 'secular'. CEOs introduce worksaving technology but, immediately and narrowly self-interested, they downsize instead of timesizing. This makes more and more of the population feel anger and despair, ready to strike out at others or themselves. It also deepens the labor surplus, weakens labor leverage, lowers labor pay, super-heightens CEOs' own pay, heightens CEOs' decision-making power while simultaneously heightening their insulation, isolation and arrogance. It's so clearly a formula for war, not the intelligent resolution of worksharing.]

  3. Avon Products to close plant in Montreal, cutting 159 jobs, Reuters via NYT, C3.
    ...as part of a restructuring program..\.. The cosmetics company [will] phase out its Montreal-based manufacturing operation by 1Q04, and transfer the production to Avon's larger plants in Springdale, Ohio, and Morton Grove, Ill. The majority of the jobcuts will take place by the end of the year.... Avon, which is based in New York, said that its direct-selling operations in Canada, which employ 950 associates to support the country's 71,000 independent sales dealers, would not be affected by the closing.

1/22/2003   2 downsizings, totaling 875 jobcuts, reported in WSJ & NYT -
  1. Auto supplier to cut jobs, AP via NYT, C3.
    ...ArvinMeritor Inc. [will] eliminate 575 jobs, or 1.7% of its workforce, including 317 workers at a plant being closed in Tennessee. The plant in Gordonsville, Tenn., which is to be closed by August, produces window regulators and sunroof systems. Its operations will be transferred to company locations in Detroit, Marion SC, Franklin IN, and Queretaro, Mexico....
    ArvinMeritor, which is based in Troy, Mich., [is[ closing the plant because supply is exceeding demand in the North American market for passenger car supplies [and] the moves [are] part of its overall effort to cut costs.
    [Let's just translate that reason in case you don't get the implications = they're closing the plant because productivity is exceeding marketability. Thus CEOs' current narrow and exclusive focus on productivity and efficiency is irrelevant. The markets are not there. It's a classic depression set-up. And we already know that Keynesianism apart from massive militarization is impotent. That just leaves one, very timidly explored option = systematically share the vanishing work, and the flexible and market-oriented design currently available - still - is Timesizing.]

  2. Schwab loss widens to $79 million - Layoff costs hurt broker; Ameritrade profit climbs, including Datek results, by Gaston Ceron, WSJ, C7.
    ...Ameritrade expects its payroll to fall to about 1,700 employees from its current level of about 2,000 by the September quarter, mostly driven by reductions stemming from the Datek deal.
    [So, 2000-1700= 300 jobcuts.]

1/18-20/2003   5 downsizings, totaling 3,640 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in WSJ & NYT (not counting regional and industrywide "Silicon Valley jobs decline 9%," pointer digest (to C4), 1/20/2003 NYT, C1, which states, "Silicon Valley lost 127,000 jobs...from the first quarter of 2001 to the second quarter of 2002,"
and on the other side of continental USA, "IT [infotech] group appeals to state leaders - Survey highlights concerns of tech jobless; aim is to spur job creation in state [Ma.]," by Diane Lewis, 1/19/2003 Bos. Globe, G1,
and "In software industry, a passage to India," by Scott Kirsner, 1/20/2003 Boston Globe, C1, which states, "Fast forward a few years, and...much of the work of cranking out code will have moved to places like India, Russia, China, and the Philippines, where it can be done much more cheaply - by some estimates, at a third of the cost of creating software in the U.S.... While the business of producing and maintaining software in the U.S. is stuck in quicksand, it is growing at an annual rate of 30% in India.") -
  1. 1/18 Budget crisis in Connecticut forces layoffs - 1,200 state workers find themselves jobless, by Paul von Zielbauer, NYT, A15.
    ...the latest victims of Gov. John Rowland's efforts to close the state's $650m budget gap. ...The layoffs of state workers are the largest in Connecticut in more than a decade. In addition to the 1,200 workers sent home this afternoon, 700 more are expected to be laid off later this month or in early February, said Marc Ryan, the governor's budget chief. Nearly 600 other state workers were laid off in December.
    None of them will get their job back, Mr. Ryan has said repeatedly, unless union leaders agree to about $450m in wage and benefit concessions that Mr. Rowland says are imperative to mend the state's deficit.
    [Ah, Connecticut, one of the wealthiest state's on a per-capita calculation, but again, the wealthy act like dogs in a manger which neither eat the straw nor let any other animals eat it. The wealthy neither spend their mostly luck-borne lucre to boost the economy nor pay it out in taxes to support those less lucky - sooo, the poor pay with joblessness, consumer demand sinks deeper and, presto, the wealthy, all innocence, ask why their investments are sinking.]
    In July, when the next fiscal year begins, the estimated budget hole will be about $1.5B, a figure almost unfathomable just one year ago....
    [We didn't catch the ones in December, so the grand total here is 600+1200+700= 2,500 jobcuts.]

  2. 1/18 Japan: Builder cuts jobs, by Ken Belson, NYT, B3.
    One of Japan's largest construction companies, the Hazama Corp., will lay off 40% of its workers and close money-losing subsidiaries as it tries to get more debt relief from its main banks. The company will eliminate 1,140 jobs....

  3. 1/18 Acclaim Entertainment Inc., NYT, B4.
    ...Glen Cove, NY, a maker of video games for machines including the PlayStation 2, [will] reduce operating expenses and administrative jobs by about 35% in response to a Q1 drop in sales of 22%.
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]

  4. 1/18 Who moved my arugula? A bad business plan ruined Balducci's, op ed by Rob Kaufelt, NYT, A35.
    ...My roommate \in\ and old-fashioned supermarket training program...regaled me with his vision of a new type of store, one filled with fabulous food and service. It was the antithesis of the boring, sterile markets we all ran. But it was exactly like Balducci's, the Greenwich Village institution that shut its doors this month after more than a half-century in business....
    [Unspecified lost jobs.]

  5. 1/20 First a delicacy, then indelicacies - A tale of infidelity, suicide and caviar, by Leslie Eaton, NYT, A18.
    ...In the late 1990s, [CEO Eric Sobel] embarked on an aggressive expansion plan [beyond the store and restaurant in the Hotel Delmonico on East 59th St in Manhattan], opening Caviarterias in Las Vegas and Florida and more in NYC (in the Soho Grand Hotel and in Grand Central Terminal).... Walter Drobenko, a lawyer for [Eric's surviving brother] Bruce Sobol and the company, said that...the Caviarteria on 59th St..."is doing good," although some of the other locations had to close because they were not profitable....
    [Unspecified lost jobs.]

1/17/2003   5 downsizings, totaling 4,420 jobcuts + unspecified, reported in WSJ & NYT -
  1. Jones Apparel Group says it will lay off 2,100 workers, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    The Jones Apparel Group, maker of Jones New York clothing and Nine West shoes [will] lay off...about 14 percent of its workforce. The company will also convert some stores to a lower-price brand.... Jones said 1,500 of the job cuts would be made in Mexico, where it is closing three plants. It is also closing warehouses in El Paso.

  2. Federated Department Stores to close 11 stores and cut 2,000 jobs, AP via NYT, C4.
    ...as it expects flat sales and earnings in 2003. Federated, based in Cincinnati [will] consolidate its Rich's and Macy's department stores in the Atlanta area, resulting in the closing of 7 Macy's stores in April and the elimination of 1,500 jobs. It also plans to close Lazarus stores in Bloomington IN and Indianapolis, a Goldsmith's store in Memphis, and a Macy's store in South Brunswick NJ. A Federated spokeswoman estimated that those stores each employed about 100 workers.
    [Followup -]
    Federated Stores posts 48% drop in net income - Job worries and war cut sales at several chains, Reuters via 5/15/2003 NYT, C4.
    ...The parent company of Macy's and Bloomingdale's said yesterday that quarterly net income dropped 48% as worries about unemployment and the war in Iraq curbed consumer spending.... Federated said the cost [$8m] of closing stores, primarily in Atlanta, came in lower than expected [$35m]. But...some of the closing costs [would] come later, hurting Q2 profits. Even so, [it's] hoping for a rebound in H2. "It will be a difficult Q2 in terms of sales, but we are hopeful that the economy will continue[?] to improve[??], eventually stimulating consumers to begin to resume [tautology alert!] more normal spending patterns in the latter half of the year," the CEO Terry Lundgren said....

  3. Critical Path to lay off 175 workers, AP via NYT, C4.
    The struggling email provider [will] lay off about 30% of its workforce as part of an effort to reduce its annual expenses by $22m.... The company [is] based in San Francisco....

  4. Woodward Governor, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...Rockford, Ill., a maker of engine and turbine controls [will] close a plant with about 145 workers in Buffalo by the end of September.

  5. McDonald's plans to close more restaurants, by Sherri Day, NYT, C4.
    ...The company \will\ close more under-performing restaurants in the U.S. and Japan. It did not say how many.... In December, the company warned that it...would close 175 lagging restaurants.
    [We didn't catch closures in December but yesterday we saw some in Bolivia and Uruguay (1/16/2003 #3).]

1/16/2003   3 downsizings, totaling 1,000 jobcuts, reported in WSJ & NYT
(not counting economywide "The invisible jobless," letter to editor by Betsy Feist of NYC, NYT, A30, which states, "Re 'Jobless, and stunned,' by Bob Herbert {column, Jan.9}: In addition to the long-term unemployed, another group of American workers is trying to survive without jobs and without unemployment insurance: independent contractors. In recent years, as corporations became leaner and meaner, they eliminated more and more jobs and used independent contractors to get the work done. Downsized workers who couldn't find staff jobs became independent contractors, ineligible for benefits. These people are also unable to find work in the current economy. Since they are not 'employed,' they are not counted among the 'unemployed' and remain invisible.") -
  1. BearingPoint will trim about 3% of its work force, Reuters via NYT, C6.
    The business consulting company [plans] to cut...450 to 550 employees. The company, formerly known as KPMG Consulting, said the jobcuts would come mostly from its operations in North America and Asia in a move that comes about a month after the company made similar cuts in Europe.

  2. Conagra to close plant, eliminating about 450 jobs, AP via NYT, C6.
    ...a Butterball turkey processing plant in Wallace NC...and will transfer production to a Midwest plant. ...Operations [will] stop at the Wallace plant on March 14..\.. A spokeswoman, Julie De-Young, said...that the closing was not a reflection on local employees. The company is negotiating to sell the Wallace plant as an operating entity. If that deal is made, the buyer will hire the work force, she said.

  3. New unit combines operations in Canada and Latin America, Dow Jones via WSJ, B8.
    McDonald's Corp...recently said it plans to close some or all of its restaurants in Bolivia and Uruguay. Units in several other Latin American countries also may be vulnerable to cuts because of economic difficulties across much of the region.
    [Unspecified jobcuts.]


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December/98.
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.

Questions, comments, feedback? Phone 617-623-8080 (Boston) or email us.


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