Timesizing® Associates

Downsizings in Sept./99
[Commentary] ©1998,1999 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 117, Harvard Square, Cambridge MA 02238 USA (617) 623-8080


9/30/99  3 More Downsizings Reported (total 1850) -

  1. Oakwood Homes cuts 1,300 jobs and takes a charge, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...The largest U.S. retailer of manufactured homes said yesterday that it had dismissed 1,300 more workers and expected a fourth-quarter loss of $60-65m as it takes charges for plant closings and customer defaults and copes with its part of an industrywide glut of inventory.
    [Ah, 3 "ticklers from the Twenties" - plant closings, customer defaults, and inventory glut. This is the first symptom we've noticed recently of fallout from the nation's rumored-burgeoning consumer debt.]
    The company, based in Greensboro, NC, said it was taking a $30m charge for the closing of 40 sales offices and 4 plants. The charge also includes severance packages for 1,900 employees, which includes earlier job cuts. Oakwood is taking a $25m charge for higher-than-expected customer defaults on loans it originated during 1998.
    [Daa dada daaaa.]

  2. Alltel Corp., NYT, C4.
    ...Little Rock, Ark., which sells phone service in the Southeast and Midwest, said it would cut about 350 jobs in its rural long-distance business.

  3. Boston's Brigham & Women's Hospital is eliminating 200 positions, 8 am WCRB News, 102.5 FM Boston.
9/29  3 Downsizings Reported (total 1545) -
  1. Troubled Filene's Basement will close 17 stores, by Chris Reidy, Boston Globe, C1.
    ...over the next few weeks, including 4 stores in Massachusetts. The company said the closings could "impact" the jobs of 400 full-time and 600 part-time employees who work at those stores. The...chain has 3,800 employees....
    [Let's see. 400+600=1000. 1000/3800=0.26. If Filenes Basement did a 26% workweek instead of workforce cut, everybody could have a 30-hour workweek, keep their jobs, and keep shopping. But not every company is as smart as VW, Nucor and Lincoln Electric.]

  2. Mony to take $37 million after-tax charge for job cuts, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...A New-York based life insurer said yesterday that it would take a...charge in Q3 as part of a plan to cut about 300 employees through early retirement. The staffing reduction...will save $15m annually by the end of next year. The company is considering additional job cuts and other ways to reduce expenses.... An unspecified number of workers retired on Sept. 1, and the rest are expected to leave in March.... Mony had about 2,540 nonsales employees at the end of June.... Mony converted to public ownership in November after 156 years as a policyholder-owned company....
    [And what a stupid move that was!]
    The conversion gave Mony stock it can use to make acquisitions.
    [Acquisitions? It can't even run its own company now it's gone public!]

  3. HMO says it has cut 245 jobs since July, by Alex Pham, Bos Globe, C9.
    Harvard Pilgrim Health Care said it has eliminated...about 7% of its workforce since embarking on its financial turnaround effort in July.
    [Studies prove that most firms who try a "turnaround" based on downsizing keep going down.]
    The Brookline HMO said the reduction included about 85 layoffs of workers, while the remaining 160 jobs were vacant positions that went unfilled. The layoffs were spread over 10 depts.... As of this month, Harvard Pilgrim, which lost an unprecedented $54m last year, employed 3,325 workers....
9/28  5 Downsizings Reported (total 8,581 +unspecified) -
  1. Mitsubishi Heavy to cut 5,000 [jobs, or 14.2% of its workforce in Japan by 3/04], AP via NYT, C4.
  2. Shoney's to close or sell 81 restaurants and cut [2351] jobs, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
  3. Lockheed to sell 8 businesses and reorganize [- replace CFO, cut mgmt, move 130 jobs from Baltimore to Bethesda, make other cuts nationwide, "seriously evaluate" 500-600 positions], Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    Last 3 factoids, including numbers, from "Lockheed announces major restructuring," by Seth Hettena, AP via Boston Globe, C2.
  4. Huffy to stop making bicycles in United States [- close 2 plants with 600 jobs], AP via NYT, C4.
  5. London Fog seeks bankruptcy protection [- eliminates 500 of its 1500 jobs], NYT, C14.
9/25  2 Downsizings Reported (total 890) -
  1. Drugstore chain is planning to cut about 830 workers, Bloomberg via NYT, B3.
    The Rite Aid Corp., the drugstore chain troubled by a plunging stock and a racketeering suit filed in Florida this week, said yesterday that it would dismiss about 830 workers. About 330 corporate and regional staff employees, many in the Harrisburg, Pa., area, were dismissed effective yesterday, and the company will close a distribution center in Ogden, Utah, next year, eliminating 500 more jobs. Rite Aid employs a total of 85,000 workers in its 3,800-store chain. Rite Aid stock has dropped 75% since reaching a 52-week of $50.94 in January as the retailer struggled to open stores and integrate acquisitions to compete against two larger rivals, the Walgreen Co. and the CVS Corp. Share of Rite aid fell [a further] $1, to $11 yesterday.
    [Boy, you gotta be really stupid to base any corporate strategy whatsoever on the insane stock market today, fantastically overvaluing Internet stocks and fantastically undervaluing practically everything else.
    [And as for self-amputation as a response to a legal battle, that's as stupid and suidical as the Third Reich's liquidating millions of its own citizens and potential soldiers in the last world war, which did nothing but hamstring the Reich with division, disloyalty, fear, suspicion, diverted energy, liquidated energy, and for those who knew what was going on, shame and guilt. What we're saying here is that, basically, evil is stupid, and this whole downsizing "strategy" is as stupid and self-fragging as it gets in the economic realm.  VW, Nucor, Lincoln Electric (and historically least, Kellogg's and Lever Bros.) have the right idea in cutting hours instead of people and trimming the workweek a little for all, not jobs completely for a few, and a few more, and a few more....]

  2. General Electric Co., NYT, B3.
    ...said it had eliminated about 60 jobs in its jet engine production operation in suburban Cincinnati and expected more cuts because of a slowdown in new orders and high costs.
9/24  1 Downsizing Reported (total 200) -
  1. Expecting a 3d-quarter loss, Chiquita is cutting 200 jobs, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    Chiquita Brands International Inc., blaming a trade dispute with the European Union over import quotas for low banana prices, said yesterday that it expected to report a 3rd-quarter loss and would cut up to...15% of its work force, to reduce costs. The company said it would take a Q3 pretax charge of about $6m...for severance costs....
    [How long, O Lord, must we endure this stupid self-damaging "strategy" of pushing the pain of downturns totally onto a few employees who are thrown completely out of work (and then we have to pay a fortune for "severance costs")? The alternative? "Everyone sacrifices together, starting at the top" and takes an almost negligible hourscut (if banana prices are down, lower production will correct that anyway) coupled with an almost negligible proportional paycut - which if it affected top executives as well, would mean a lot more forward thinking and better management - and a smaller cut due to the extra money saved by prorating down the inflated 'compensation' of today's executives. Right now, CEOs can pass the pain completely to others. This is not a feedback system. The technical term for this is "sucky cybernetics." Lincoln Electric has made some mistakes but they have not had a layoff in 40 years because they flex their workweek, not their workforce.]
9/23  2 Downsizings Reported (total 9245 additional) -
  1. Aerospace company sets [9200] more job cuts - United Technologies in 10% reduction, by Milt Freudenheim, NYT, C6.
    ...The largest private employer in Connecticut..\..said yesterday that it was cutting its worldwide work force by 14,500 jobs, or about 10% of its 142,500 employees, as it wrestles with a continuing decline in the aerospace portion of its business. The job cuts, which add 9,200 to the 5,300 announced earlier this year, are part of a revamping that will result in a $1.15b charge against earnings in 1999 and eliminate 8.5m sq ft of factory and office space.... 40% of the charges will be recorded by the company's Pratt & Whitney [P&W] aircraft engine unit.... Most of the cuts announced yesterday will be in overseas employees, said Peter Dalpe, a company spokesman..\..
    P&W said last month that it would cut 1500 jobs, move its No. Haven, Conn., unit to E. Hartford and move its military jet engine business to Connecticut from W. Palm Beach, Fla. Pratt & Whitney-Canada also eliminated 700 posts. In other previously announced job cuts by UT units, the Hamilton Sundstrand aerospace unit said Tuesday that it would eliminate 1500 positions [see below]. Sikorsky Aircraft, based in Stratford, Conn., has announced 1100 job cuts; Carrier, 400, and Otis Elevator, 165....
    [Looks like a lot of smaller companies that got taken over and reamed. Speaking of which...]

  2. Pillsbury will shut plant in Somerville [Mass.], Bloomsbury via Boston Globe, F9.
    Diageo PLC's Pillsbury will close a bread-products plant and offer the facility's 45 workers jobs at another plant in the state. The plant's production will be transferred to Pillsbury's Medford facility [and] the Somerville workers will be offered jobs [there].... The move comes after Pillsbury's May acquisition of Supervalu Inc. unit Hazelwood Farm Bakeries.... Pillsbury also acquired H.J. Heinz Co.'s bakery products unit last October....]
9/22  3 Downsizings Reported (total 2774) -
  1. Hamilton Sundstrand will cut 1500 jobs, AP via Boston Globe, D2.
    ...the "natural result" of the merger between Hamilton Standard and Sundstrand Corp. The company said it would close and sell the electronics operation at its plant in suburban Windsor Locks, just outside Hartford, and complete the shutdown of a plant in Colorado Springs.... The job cuts, to be carried out between now and the end of 2000, amount to 8.3% of the company's work force....

  2. HarperCollins cuts 74 jobs at Morrow Books, by Doreen Carvajal, NYT, C8.
    More than 2 mos. after formally acquiring the publisher Wm. Morrow & Co., HarperCollins announced a series of moves yesterday to consolidate its imprints, resulting in layoffs of 74 employees and the departure of top executives from Morrow.... The combined companies will now have 8 children's imprints instead of 17 and 16 adult imprints instead of 24....

  3. Unilever to cut hundreds of brands, AP via NYT, C3.
    ...The British-Dutch consumer products giant...the world's largest maker of household goods..\..whose 1,600 brands include Lipton tea, Breyer's ice cream...Wisk detergent and Calvin Klein perfume..\..plans to reduce its product line to 400 in a bid to cut $1.4b in costs.... It would [only] keep brands that are No.1 or 2 in their respective markets....
    [And when brands go, jobs go, but they ain't talkin'bout that yet. Each brand, for example, has a brand manager, which means 1600-400= 1200 brand managers gone right off the bat. And this is all rather sad considering that Unilever is all that's left of the once-wonderful Lever Bros. empire, cofounded by Lord Leverhulme, who penned "The Six-hour Day & Other Industrial Questions" way back in 1918. That's a 30-hour workweek in a big British company 12 years before W.K. Kellogg introduced it in America!  These boys were ahead of us 60-70 years ago, proving that all our "progress" ain't worth a damn in terms of the most basic of freedoms, free time.]
9/21  2 Downsizings Reported (total 1310) -
  1. Quaker Oats to eliminate 1,200 jobs and close plants in 3-year revamping, Reuters via NYT, C7.
  2. Luxottica Group, p.A. [to cut 110 jobs at its newly bought Ray-Ban Sun Optics Inc. unit in Rochester], NYT, C4.
9/18  1 Downsizing Reported (total 150) -
  1. Royal Dutch/Shell Group, NYT, B3.
    ...said its United States arm, Shell Oil Co. in Houston, would eliminate 150 jobs, about 7% of its exploration and production work force of 2,100, as part of a consolidation intended to reduce costs.
9/17  1 Downsizing Reported (total 15400-11300=4100) -
  1. Raytheon plans more cost cuts and predicts shortfall, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    ...The aerospace and military contracting concern said yesterday that it was planning a further reorganization that would result in at least $350 million in charges and push 3rd-quarter earnings below estimates....
    [The less general business there is, the harder CEOs strive for stock-supporting scams like repeated reorganizations and takeovers, and the more investors-become-speculators believe them, assuming they themselves can bail out in time anyway. The whole economy moves from longer term to shorter term, from more extended self-interest to less extended self-interest. "The center cannot hold...and what rough beast...slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"]
    At the end of June, Raytheon had cut 11,300 jobs and said it expected to cut 15,400 positions by the end of the year, which would leave its total work force at 115,000. The company also said it had reduced plant space by 4.5 million square feet.
    [Let's see, year-end it'll be 115,000.  4100 firings to go to achieve that glorious goal.  So now they're at 119,100 with 4100 to go to achieve their goal = 3.44248% more to cut.  4100x40 hrs/wk = 164,000 more labor hours per week to cut.  If they did this by cutting labor hours directly instead of jobs, let's see, 119,100 employees have a total of 4,764,000 labor hours/week.  3.44248% of that is 163,999.74 labor hours.  Rounding up by .26 of an hour (15.6 minutes), we get exactly that 164,000 more labor hours that Raytheon wants to cut.  But if everyone took just a 3.44% cut in their workweek, no further jobs (and morale, and productivity) would be lost, and the resulting 38.6-hr workweek would be scarcely noticeable, except perhaps from a slight productivity boost as people prioritized their day a little more than before.  This is what we're calling Timesizing, as an alternative to downsizing.]
9/16  2 Downsizings Reported (totalling 40 +undetermined) -
  1. GC Cos. to fire 40, centralize, by Samantha Zee, Boston Globe, E7.
    GC Cos., parent of General Cinema Theaters Inc., said it will fire...about 5% of its work force and centralize regional offices to save about $10 million in its movie theater operations. [And how much of a charge against earnings will it have to take next quarter to settle accounts with these 40 people, pray tell?]
    GC said it will close regional offices in Chicago and LA and move the company's main operations to its HQ in Newton, MA. The cuts will be made at all 3 locations, from a total staff of 823.... The company, which operates 1067 movie screens at 140 locations in 23 US states, has been suffering from a decline in attendance.
    [Well, these layoffs will mean a slight increase in that decline....]
    GC...also operates 160 theaters in 16 locations in Mexico and South America....
    [Betcha with typical CEO 'foresight', GC is saying, "Damn, why aren't we in the kind of business we can just move all our jobs to Mexico?!"]

  2. AT&T plans to freeze hiring, cut jobs - Firm looks to trim $2b in costs by 2001, McElroy, Levenson & Wells [geezmabeez, how many people does it take to write 7¼ column inches?!], Bloomberg via Bos Globe, E2.
    AT&T Corp., its stock down 30% from a record in February, yesterday said it...hasn't determined how many jobs will be cut.... AT&T cut more than 20,000 jobs last year and reduced selling, general, and administrative expenses by $1.6 billion. The company has 149,000 employees.
    [Sooner or later, American CEOs are going to have to stop taking their marching orders from the speculators on Wall Street.]
9/15  4 Downsizings Reported (totalling 11,450) -
  1. Seagate, maker of disk drives, to cut 8,000 jobs, Bloomberg via NYT, C3.
    ...The No. 1 computer disk-drive maker said yesterday that it would cut...10% of its workers as part of a plan to improve operations in the face of falling prices.... The cuts...will be made through dismissals and retirements at plants in Singapore, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Scotland and the United States in the next nine months. Seagate, based in...Calif., is expected to report a loss this quarter in part because it is slashing prices to compete with rivals.
    [...to compete for downsized markets thanks to its own stupid shoveling of jobs by the 1000s overseas to places where the low-wage employees do not use computers and disk drives.]

  2. Additional layoffs expected at Silicon Graphics, Reuters via NYT, C3.
    ...A maker of sophisticated graphics computers..\..said yesterday that it would lay off up to 3,000 employees, nearly double its previous estimate.... [The CFO] said the total work force would be cut by 2,000-3,000 people, up from the 1,000-1,500 it had predicted in August....

  3. J Sainsbury to close Norwood warehouse, by Chris Reidy, Boston Globe, F7.
    ...in mid-November as a result of its plans to merge Shaw's Supermarkets Inc. with its recently purchased Star Markets Co. According to Sainsbury, more than 400 Norwood associates will be affected [including] 336 union jobs.... According to the union [Teamsters Local 25], Sainsbury...looks to replace union workers with a "low-pay work force" that would make the combined chains more attractive to a global food firm eager for an acquisition.
    [The only global strategy that can possibly make sense of this fixation on efficiency instead of letting it progressively downsize its own markets, is sharing the diminishing work as technology takes it over. All we have now to ensure re-employment of the downsized is faith - the rather bizarre faith that "technology creates more jobs than it destroys" - somewhere, sometime - as people here and now are losing their livelihoods by the thousands, and markets are shrinking accordingly. Only a shift to work sharing, that is, timesizing instead of downsizing, can reverse this ongoing erosion.]

  4. Mackie Designs Inc., NYT, C3.
    ...Wash., a maker of audio-mixing systems said it had dismissed more than 50 people, or 10% of the workers, at its only United States manufacturing plant in an effort to cut costs.
9/14  2 Downsizings Reported (totalling 5450) -
  1. Toshiba to cut jobs, AP via NYT, C4.
    A major Japanese electronics company, the Toshiba Corp., plans to slash nearly 5,000 jobs and omit its interim dividend payment for the first time in half a century...citing worsening conditions in the semiconductor market.... It was unclear if the job cuts would come from layoffs or attrition.

  2. Crane to lay off 450 and take charges of $18.5 million, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    ...in the third and fourth quarters..\..to improve profits.... The industrial products company...employed 12,500 as of 1998....
9/11  3 Downsizings Reported (totalling 4,850) -
  1. ["Don't make any sudden moves."]
    Optimum Health shuts down; 700 lose jobs - Sudden move by subsidiary of Frontier Group sends agencies scrambling to arrange care for 1,700 elders, by Alex Pham, Boston Globe, C1.
    ...Frontier Group Inc. [was] a nursing home firm that on July 14 sought Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy court protection with the hope that it could reorganize its finances and emerge as a more efficient company. That hope vanished Thursday...forced by the sheer lack of money....

  2. [Largest U.S. furniture retailer] Heilig-Meyers is set to close about 18 stores, Bloomberg via NYT, B3.
    ...in the Chicago and Milwaukee markets and cut as many as 500 jobs as it sheds less-profitable assets [and] take a charge of [$31-35m in Q2 ended 8/31] to cover costs tied to the moves....
    [American furniture stores are folding right and left and the Swedes want to send IKEA over? - "Swedish [furniture] firm coming to Mass." (Bos Globe, C1). Duh.]

  3. ["Good news and bad news."]
    Cigarette factory closing, Bloomberg via NYT, B2.
    NOVY JICIN, Czech Republic, Sept. 10 - Tabak AS, the Czech unit of the Philip Morris Cos., the world's largest tobacco company, said today that it would close one of four Czech plants.... Tabak said it had halted production at its plant in Novy Jicin in northeastern Czech Republic, which employed 373 people, as orders from former Soviet countries declined because consumer have turned to cheaper domestic brands after the ruble's fall.
9/10  4 More Downsizings Reported (totalling at least 4,850) -
  1. Hechinger Co. to liquidate, shut 117 stores - Thousands [so 2000 at least] to lose jobs at home-improvement firm, Bloomberg via Boston Globe, C2.

  2. General Electric is cutting 1,400 jobs at Indiana plant, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    ...refrigerator plant in Bloomington...44% of the plant's employees, and move some of the work to Mexico....

  3. Pluma to close 4 plants, Bloomberg via NYT, C18.
    ...a maker of fleece and jersey clothing under bankruptcy protection since May said it would shut four lants and dismiss 950 employees as it closes down after failing to find investors. The company...will shut two plants in Eden next week and lay off about 500 workers. In the next 6-8 weeks, plants in Martinsville and Vesta, Va. will close with the loss of 450 jobs.... Slumping sales, the loss of a large customer and poorly performing acquistions led to mounting losses.

  4. Reebok eliminates 120 jobs [counted yesterday] and plans to cut 500 more, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    ...around the world in coming weeks... declining sales....
9/9  4 Downsizings Reported (total 7830 +unspecified) -
  1. Michelin plans to cut 7,500 (10%) jobs across Europe, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.

  2. Metals USA Inc. [...Houston, to cut up to 210 jobs, or 5%], NYT, C4.

  3. Reebok lays off 120 [about 10%] in Bay State - Further cuts expected as shoe maker restructures, by Gregg Krupa, Boston Globe, C1.

  4. CBS News may face more cuts, by Felicity Barringer, NYT, C8.
    For people at the news division of CBS, corporate takeovers and the attendant cost-cutting are nothing new. They saw it in 1995, when Westinghouse Electric bought the network. And they saw it during the nine-year reign of the man who made that deal with Westinghouse, Laurence A. Tisch, whose Loews Corp. was a major stockholder of CBS. So when it comes to cutbacks in newsgathering operations, CBS News has been there and done that....
    The new emphasis is on the prime-time news magazine genre of journalism, and there is a disinclination to underwrite the expensive infrastructure of foreign bureaus and full-time investigative of documentary new units that once were centers of prestige, if not profit. CBS, in particular, has been through at least two painful bouts of layoffs. "This is becoming pretty old hat for those of us in the television news business," said one journalist who has worked at both ABC and CNN...and spoke on condition that his name not be used. "We've all been taken over and merged so many times, we're used to seeing a lot of our old friends go off and do something else for a living." What is most unsettling, he added, "is the fear of what might happen"....
    [The question for CEOs is, how far are they ultimately going to get no matter how much money they have, with an alienated workforce? By taking the tangent in 1933 to Government as the Charity of Last Resort with no guidelines for private business, instead of Government as the Reinvestor of Last Resort with the business guideline of reinvesting overtime profits and earnings in training and hiring, and indexing overtime to corporate revenues so the straight-time workweek shrinks if revenues shrink (and later, indexing to city, state or federal unemployment, after redefining unemployment to include welfare, disability, homelessness, and prisons), we doomed ourselves to a deadend as decisive as apartheid. The alternative is some form of  Timesizing, not downsizing.
9/07 Japan bank merger carries old burdens - Cutbacks strain custom yet are basis of saving, by Calvin Sims, NYT, C1.
TOKYO - For top executives of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Fuji Bank and the Industrial Bank of Japan, signing up to merge their vast operations last month was far easier than the monumental task they now face in consolidating three of the country's biggest banks under one roof.  That will mean laying off thousands of workers....
[Not necessarily. That kind of cutback means a further cutback in Japan's consumer base and national markets, thus fueling Japan's own economic contraction. However, if they cut hours, not jobs, they minimize or completely avoid this kamekazi consequence.]
...[will mean] disposing of unprofitable divisions, investing in costly technology and correcting decades of bad business practices to achieve the economies of scale that they promised when they agreed on the deal....
[All still possible and actually easier under timesizing, not downsizing. No risk of inducing a PR hit. No severance packages to pay for. No costs to charge against next-quarter profits. No risk of workplace sabotage or violence. No "walking wounded" among survivors, to clobber producitivity.  And a time when a major American industry is copying Japan's lifetime employment (see our goodnews story yesterday, 9/06) is a pretty stupid time for Japan to be copying our self-crippling job-killing "strategy".]
...The three-way merger...will create the world's largest financial institution....
[Yeah, another dinosaur wondering why all its domestic markets are shrinking after it helped shrink them.]
...Past bank mergers in Japan have been largely unsuccessful and slow to yield cost savings, mainly because executives resisted cutting bloated payrolls...in a society accustomed to lifetime employment....
[Well, when we have idiots like reporter Calvin Sims who've bought the bull that cutting your own best markets, your employees, is "success", we're not going to be patiently listened to by other countries much longer - if indeed we're talking to anybody but ourselves already. Clearly these Japanese executives in past mergers took a look at the "advantage" of cutting key markets along with lifelong employees and decided it did not make financial sense.]

9/04 Thermal Components, NYT, B4.
...an auto radiator and air cooler manufacturer, and a unit of Insilco Holding Co., Dublin, Ohio, will close its Duncan, S.C. plant, laying off 50 workers.
[This could have a huge impact on Duncan, NC, if their population is still anywhere near its listed "strength" in our generation-old atlas - 1189.]

9/03  2 Downsizings Reported (total 13,450) -

  1. Telecom Italia to cut 13,000 jobs, AP via NYT, C4.
    The Italian telephone giant...announced plans to eliminate 13,000 jobs and reduce overall costs by $2.5 billion. Roberto Colaninno, who was named Telecom's chairman and chief executive after the company's hostile takeover by Olivetti S.p.A. in May, said the cuts were part of long-term revamping plans.
    [Revamping as in "re-vampire-ing"? By cutting jobs for some instead of hours for all, they're sucking their own blood - their own best markets in their own employees - just like self-cannibalizing vampires. Just watch. 13,000 jobs now, another coupla thou 2 years from now, then another coupla thou.... When you've got a downturn strategy that worsens the downturn, there's no way to save you.]
    A former monopoly, Telecom Italia has struggled since its privatization in October 1997. Mr. Colaninno said at a news conference yesterday that 9,000 of the 13,000 jobs to be cut over the next two years would be through retirements, with others coming through layoffs. Telecom has 127,000 employees.
    [That's a 10% workforce cut (showing the takeover-downsizing connection!) that shoulda binna 10% workweek cut (to 36 hrs) to keep everyone workin', but in a hostile takeover, even top execs hate each other.] 
  2. Newport News Shipbuilding says it will cut 450 jobs, AP via NYT, C3.
    ...[The shipyard] said in a letter to employees yesterday that it would lay off 450 hourly workers, or about 2.2% of its work force, beginning this month. It attributed the layoffs to "fluctuating workloads in our Navy business" and an agreement reached in April between the shipyard and the Navy to cut costs by $360 million by 2003. The job losses will be in shipfitting, steel fabrication, welding, sheet metal, paint and office services. The company predicted in April that layoffs would be necessary after the Pentagon rejected a $2 billion takeover of the shipyard by the General Dynamics Corp.
    [Yeah, and if General Dynamics had taken over, we'd been seeing 1,000 layoffs today.]
9/02  2 Downsizings Reported (total 449) -
  1. Sabre Group Holdings Corp., NYT, C4.
    Fort Worth, the airline reservation company, dismissed 329 employees, or about 3% of its work force, to reduce costs because of lower sales in its computer-services business.
    [Didn't we just see an article that airline travel was up? How come Sabre isn't gettin' a piece of that? If Sabre cut hours instead of people, its people would have more free time for that vital question to be percolating in their creative subconsciouses.]

  2. Dexter to sell a unit, close a plant and cut 120 jobs, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    The Dexter Corp., which makes chemicals for the aerospace, electronics and medical industries, said yesterday that it would sell a unit and close a Texas plant, cutting 60 jobs, as it tries to become more efficient.
    [Piling on the heap of dummies doing the deadly fashion of adding efficiency while subtracting consumer base is not the way to go.]
    Dexter, based in Windsor Locks, Conn., said it would sell its printed wiring-board materials unit...as it finds it more difficult to compete with companies outside the U.S.
    [Then send somebody to DC to lobby against the "free trade" brain disease, ye victim-minded!]
    Dexter also said it would close a plant in Richardson, Tex., and made changes in its nonwoven materials unit's European division, cutting 60 jobs between the divisions....
    ["Dexter" (Latin for "right") is turning "sinister" (Latin for "left" or "not right") by cutting people instead of hours. With a little more boldness and imagination, and maybe a look at the way VW, Nucor and Lincoln Electric handle hard times, Dexter could be kickin' butt instead of snivelling.]
9/01/99  4 Downsizings Reported (total 190 +unspecified) -
  1. Wolverine Tube Inc., NYT, C4.
    ...Huntsville, Ala., maker of copper tubing for the airi-conditioning industry, plans to cut more than 100 employees, or about 15% of its nonmanufacturing work force, to reduce costs.

  2. Genessee to cut 50 brewery jobs in bid to restore profit, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    ...which has been considering the sale of its Genessee Brewing Co. unit, said yesterday that it would cut 50 jobs and take a Q2 charge in a bid to return to profitability. Genessee, based in Rochester, said it expected to take a $1.7 million restructuring charge in the quarter ending Oct. 30 to cover the expense of eliminating almost 10% of the 550 brewing company jobs over the next 90 days.... Genessee...has faced losses and declining sales at the beer unit as it struggles with competition from large brewers.
    [Dumb. Formula for success? Cut hours, prorate salary, and train & reassign manufacturing employees to marketing and sales. (Preserves morale and enhances productivity.) Copy Lincoln Electric et al.]

  3. Heska Corp., NYT, C4.
    ...Ft. Collins, Colo., a veterinary health products developer, will shut a Wisc. plant, cut 40 jobs and take a Q3 charge of $1 million to cut costs.

  4. FiberMark to shut plant, Bos Globe, D7.
    ...A maker of specialty fiber-based materials, said it will shut a plant in New Jersey, move work to another plant in that state, and invest $15 million in a paper machine to boost capacity.... It's FiberMark's fourth plant closing in four years...to improve product quality and capability, as well as profitability....


Click here for downsizing stories Aug.16-31/99.
Click here for downsizing stories Aug.1-15/99.
Click here for downsizing stories in July/99.
Click here for downsizing stories in May-Jun/99.
Click here for downsizing stories in Mar-Apr/99.
Click here for downsizing stories in Jan-Feb/99.
Click here for downsizing stories in December/98.
Click here for downsizing stories in November/98.
Click here for downsizing stories in October/98.
Click here for downsizing stories prior to Sept. 30/98.

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.


Return to Top | Return to Home Page