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Timesizing News, November 1-10, 2001
[Commentary] ©2001 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 117, Harvard Sq, Cambridge MA 02238 USA 617-623-8080


11/10/2001  today's spontaneous example of primitive timesizing -

11/09/2001  today's spontaneous examples of primitive timesizing -
please patronize the companies we feature and tell them Timesizing.com sent you -
  1. MacDermid, Inc. makes announcement, Business Wire BW2585 Nov 08 2001 18:47 Eastern via AOLNews.
    WATERBURY, Conn...- MacDermid Inc. today announced the transfer of virtually all production from Waterbury CT to other USA manufacturing sites, primarily Ferndale, Michigan. The transfer of production will take place over the next 6 months. Ultimately the move will cause the elimination of approximately 40 positions. The Waterbury facility...will be used primarily as a warehouse....
    Daniel Leever, Chairman and CEO said, "We deeply regret that market circumstances have made it imperative for us to reduce costs, therefore impacting our employees. We have been operating our Advanced Surface Finishing plants on shortened work weeks for months. After careful study, we have decided to permanently reduce manufacturing capacity. We have tried to minimize the impact on the affected employees by providing notice, severance, job placement assistance and, in as many cases as possible, positions in other facilities."...
    Contact: MacDermid Inc., Waterbury, Tel: 203/575-5700.

  2. VW Brazil lays off 3,000, workers threaten strike, Reuters 18:13 11-08-01 via AOLNews.
    [This is essentially the same story as below on 11/07, #4.]
    ...Two weeks of talks between management and the ABC [Metalworkers] Union fell apart on Tuesday after workers at the Sao Bernardo plant rejected VW's proposal to cut salaries and hours by 15% to avoid slashing 4,000 jobs. That proposal had already been softened by VW from 20%..\.. Luiz Marinho, president of the...Union...said the main sticking point in negotiations had been a VW proposal that would have cut future wages by up to 30%..\..
    [How come we're not hearing any details on that? Is this just a misunderstanding on the part of the workers? A synchronized cut in hours and pay does not cut hourly wages, it maintains them.]
    VW, Brazil's largest car manufacturer, said earlier that it would cut 3,000 jobs, also as of Monday, at its...Anchieta factory in Sao Bernardo, where 16,000 of VW's 26,800 employees in Brazil work. The company sent job termination letters out on Wednesday to the 3,000 employees' homes. The collective dismissal would be one of the largest in recent years in Brazil and comes as a slowing economy, high interest rates and a weak currency have thrown the country's auto industry - Latin America's largest - into idle....
    VW said in its statement that the use of modern manufacturing technology to make its new Polo model in Sao Bernardo had also made workers redundant....
    [OK, where's old John Stuart Mill and Paul Samuelson now with their crap about "technology creates more jobs than it destroys" and their scorn for the misnamed "lump of labor theory " (it's lump of employment, employment, employment).]
    "The modernization of plants is always a factor when it comes to cutting workers, but that becomes an even bigger factor when production falls," said Fabio Silveira, an economist with Sao Paulo's MB Associados business consultants..\..
    [On the other hand, not all the employees are as apparently clueless as those in Sao Bernardo -]
    Just northeast of Sao Paulo in the city of Taubate, VW managed to strike a deal with local union leaders to cut wages and work hours by 12% to save 1,000 of 7,000 jobs [14%]. The agreement must be voted on by workers Wednesday....

  3. 'Patient & Physician Safety and Protection Act' introduced in House of Representatives: 'Long hours are bad medicine' says coalition, US Newswire Nov. 8 via AOLNews.
    The Patient & Physician Safety and Protection Act of 2001 (PPSPA), HR 3236, introduced this week in the US House of Representatives would, if passed, reduce excessive work hours for resident physicians [now] often required to work 36-hour duty shifts and as much as 120-hour work weeks. The proposed legislation would create regulations similar to those that limit working hours for truck drivers and airline pilots.
    This is the first time Congress has been asked to address this issue with legislation, according to the American Medical Student Assoc. (AMSA), a major supporter of the legislation. PPSPA was introduced by Rep. John Conyers of Michigan and is co-sponsored by eleven other members of Congress. The legislation calls for resident work hours to be limited to 80 hours per week and no more than 24 hours at one time.
    [That's still a flaming disaster. Still wanta go to the hospital and put your life in the hands of this wildly irresponsible system? Conyers is a good man, having introduced several shorter hours bills into Congress, for example, the Dellums-Conyers bill, HR 1050, in 1997.]
    It would limit emergency room shifts for residents to no more than 12 hours and address the issue of supervision for all residents....
    [What a nauseating disgrace. To realize that one of most prestigious professions has been quietly strangling access to its skills and inflating its wages for decades with this kind of sado-masochism?! And these cretins are supposed to be experts on health. What a sick joke! American physicians, heal yourselves!]
    The proposed legislation would also provide for annual surveys of resident-physician working conditions, public disclosure of hospitals that violate the hours limits and the imposition of civil penalties.
    "Nearly every practicing physician has a story about a mistake that he or she make while on their 30th hour of duty during internship," says Jaya Agrawal, AMSA president and a 4th -year medical student at Brown University. "These abusive practices and the culture of silence surrounding them need to end...."
    [And speaking of the culture of silence, did anyone catch a mention of this in any newspapers or broadcast media today? We didn't. And we had previous stories from AMSA on 7/19 #1 and 5/31 #1.]

11/08/2001  today's spontaneous example of primitive timesizing -
please patronize the companies we feature and tell them Timesizing.com sent you - 11/07/2001  today's spontaneous examples of primitive timesizing -
  1. Cuisine Solutions announces first quarter fiscal year 2002 results, PRNewswire 11/06/2001 08:58 EST via AOLNews.
    ALEXANDRIA, Va...- Cuisine Solutions Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CUIS) announced a net loss of $881,000 for the first quarter of fiscal year 2002, compared to a net loss of $171,000 last year,...due to the significant decrease in USA sales compounded by higher distribution/storage costs since inventory levels increased, and the immediate subsequent reduction in production that affected the ability to cover fixed production overhead costs....
    Sales from France increased by 13.6%.... The majority of the growth was driven by strong retail sales of private label packaged products as well as a continued growing demand in the foodservice sector. Foodservice operators are forced to deal wth the 35 hour workweek constraint and have discovered that the Cuisine Solutions product line offers a solution to the limited availability and higher cost of labor created as result of the new mandated work hour rules....
    [More indications that many French companies just don't get it. Instead of training and hiring more of France's 9% unemployed, they merely import stuff from the U.S. Imagine France importing food from the USA - shame on them - quelle honte! And telling these US exporters, "Oh we're forced to deal with the 35-hour workweek!" They're enjoying the slowest descent into recession in Europe because of their national worksharing, and many of them are still complaining! Pathetic.]

  2. Analysis - French jobless set to rise as firms lay off temps, by Joelle Diderich, Reuters 11:33 11-06-01 via AOLNews.
    PARIS...- France's jobless rate, which rose in September for the fourth consecutive month, is likely to climb further as firms facing volatile economic demand react by shedding temporary workers, analysts said.... "Since April, the temporary work market has seen a slowdown which is more and more pronounced as the months go by...," said Denis Pennel, spokesman for temporary employment agency Manpower in France. He forecast the financial turnover of temporary job agencies would be flat this year, after jumping 20% in 2000 on healthy economic growth and the introduction of a shorter working week.
    [There we see the real role of workweek reduction = maintenance of economic health regardless of conditions.]
    The slowdown was mainly due to the plight of the global economy, but also to the growing flexibility of French firms..\.. French companies, their hands tied for years by rigid government rules on hiring and firing, have steadily increased the number of temporary workers on their payroll, building up a staff sector that can now be cut back rapidly in a downturn....
    [And even that kind downsizing of course, by contrast with Timesizing, accelerates the downturn. Temp agencies just provide another way for an economy to bring itself down, instead of worksharing, which minimizes 'downdrafts' and by maintaining social cohesion, obliterates the psychological booster of their cumulative acceleration anyway.]

  3. [And speaking of the knock-on (i.e., cumulative) downturn acceleration of layoff-fed psychological depression -]
    Recession fears hit euro zone services - Reuters PMI, by Ruth Pitchford, Reuters 05:48 11-06-01 via AOLNews.
    Fears of recession drove euro zone businesses and consumers to make deep cuts in their spending in October and the region's dominant services sector shrank for the second month running, a major survey showed on Tuesday.... The service sector makes up more than 60% of the euro zone economy and had remained buoyant for much of this year, offsetting a [seven-month] recession in manufacturing..\.. Reuters Eurozone Services Business Activity Index fell further below the 50 line that divides growth from contraction.... The survey of 2,000 companies echoed gloomy readings of the US and UK service sectors published on Monday.... "Clearly we are now seeing an across-the-board collapse in economic activity," said Robert Lind at ABN Amro in London....
    Many companies in the survey reported that their clients were holding back from making investment decisions because they were so uncertain about the economic future.... German businesses were much more pessimistic but the euro zone index was buoyed by a marked increase in optimism in France. Official French data on Tuesday showed consumer confidence was weak but stabilising....
    The Reuters survey covers Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Ireland which account for 83% of euro zone private sector services output. It showed employment in service businesses went on growing in France and Italy in October but at the slowest rate since the [data] series started. French companies said legislation aimed at cutting the working week to 35 hours was one of the main reasons they were still taking on staff..\..
    [So the shorter workweek is succeeding - it is offsetting downturn-fueling disemployment in France.]
    However, a survey of French manufacturers showed deepening gloom over export prospects, while the headline jobless rate rose in France for the fourth consecutive month in September to 9.1% from 9.0% in August. In Germany, the unemployment rate remained at 9.0%....
    [This is a lot better than when France's unemployment rate was 12% while Germany's was 9%. Both of them need to do a lot more worksharing and overtime-to-training conversion than they're doing already, to get those huge unemployment rates down. At least with its 35-hour legislation France has started on the flexible level of the workweek. Germany is still focused on the rigid level of the workyear and long annual vacations.]
    Labour costs continued to push up the overall costs of euro zone service companies....
    [That's where your markets come from, kiddies.]
    ...albeit at a slower pace of 53.5 from 55.9 in September. But competitive pressure forced companies to hold down their prices, and the prices charged index fell to 46.9, the lowest since May 1999. Lind at ABN Amro said businesses were clearly getting squeezed between higher labour costs and lower prices....
    [That means income is getting healthily centrifuged out of unspendable concentration back into circulation.]

  4. Union rejects new VW proposal to Brazilian workers, Reuters 14:28 11-06-01 via AOLNews.
    SAO PAULO, Brazil - Workers at two Volkswagen (VOWG>DE, VOWG.F) plants in Sao Paulo have rejected an offer to cut salaries and work hours by 15% proposed by the German auto maker as an alternative to possible layoffs of 4,000.... "In essence, the proposal did not address the fundamental demand of the workers: a guarantee of a job for those that are employed today," said Celso Horta..\..
    [Some employees are just too stupid to merit an employer as fair and flexible as Volkswagen. Here VW is handing them a formula for job survivability and easier lives and they're rejecting it to demand something no auto manufacturer in this downturn can guarantee. And they're taking an action which will worsen the company's already slump-weakened condition and cancel the value of VW locating some manufacturing in Brazil in the first place -]
    The spokesman for the metalworkers union, which represents the 22,500 workers at the two Sao Paulo plants, said there would be a strike if layoffs begin....
    [Maybe these morons should take a look at some of the cases where labor has been the side proposing the shorter workweeks to avoid layoffs, cases like the International Assoc. of Machinists & Aerospace Workers at Air Canada (10/02, #2) and right there in Sao Paulo, the Sao Jose dos Campos Metalworkers Union at aircraft maker Embraer (9/30/2001). Not to mention the AFL under William Green, which was the main organization pressuring for the 30-hour workweek bill back in 1933.]
    Volkswagen, which had its first offer of a 20% cut in salaries and hours rejected by unions in October, released a statement saying it regretted the workers' decision and would make a decision on their stand in coming days..\.. Volkswagen, the biggest car maker in Brazil, has been at loggerheads with unions since late October over its bid to make the plants more competitive as car sales across Brazil decline amid a general economic slump....
    [Hey, we'd sell the plants and pull out. Such employees are too suicidally stupid to work with.]

11/06/2001  today's spontaneous example of primitive timesizing -
please patronize the companies we feature and tell them Timesizing.com sent you - 11/03/2001  today's spontaneous examples of primitive timesizing -
  1. [Japanese labor makes the right decision - ease up on megahours and choose work&pay sharing instead of joblessness -]
    Rengo accepts basic wage cuts in face of slump, Kyodo via AP-NY-11-02-01 0117EST via AOLNews.
    TOKYO - Japan's largest labor organization...the 8m-member Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo)..\..told the Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren) on Friday that it will accept a proposed reduction in basic wages given shorter working hours expected as the economic slump continues, Keidenren officials said.... But..\..Kiyoshi Sasamoni, head of...Rengo...said the union will not accept a proposal to reduce per-hour payments..\..
    Sasamoni was quoted by Keidenren officials as saying Rengo has resisted [pay] cuts in the past but the business environment has changed so much that [pay cuts] are inevitable [but not wage cuts if hours are cut correspondingly].... Rengo has compromised on its [pay] policy as it places emphasis on ensuring the maintenance of employment. Japan's jobless rate rose to a record high 5.3% in September.

  2. Disney World actors given pink slips, by Mike Schneider, AP-NY-11-02-01 1504EST via AOLNews.
    ORLANDO, Fla...Since February, Disney has laid off more than 180 of the 430 actors who once worked full-time at the theme park resort, or about 40% of its Actors Equity performers, according to \character actor\ Mark Lainer...now...a casualty of some of the toughest economic times Disney World faced in decades. Lainer and more than 100 other actors were laid off two weeks ago....
    During the latest round, the actors were given the option of working a service job in the park, in merchandising or custodial, but most refused. Lainer said such jobs pay only a third to half of his $22-an-hour wage as an actor..\.. Disney spokesman Bob Jimenez...said half of the entertainers whose jobs were cut have accepted other positions at the park.
    Other Disney workers are also feeling the pinch. Most of Disney World's 15,000 part-time workers have had their hours eliminated. [Full-time] hourly workers have had their workweek cut back, and salaried workers were given the option of scaling back their hours....
    [ Timesizing in lieu of deeper downsizing. But if we want any markets left at all, we're going to have to switch to timesizing in lieu of any downsizing except immediately prior to corporate liquidation. Perhaps if Michael Eisner reinvested a big chunk of his dysfunctional 'trophy salary'?... Many people are not eager to visit Disney locations (Mr. Timesizing among them) until Disney is no longer burdened with Eisner. See also Disney story below on 10/24.]

  3. Car maker's Atlanta plant to idle 2,100 workers, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
    The Ford Motor Co. will close an Atlanta car plant for a week starting on Monday...to reduce production because of lower orders from rental-car companies and businesses. The plant makes the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans. U.S. auto sales surged 24% last month, and Ford's sales nationwide rose 36% in Oct., helped by no-interest loans. Orders from rental-car companies and businesses looking to add to fleets slid 30% last month and have been declining since July as a slowing economy reduces travel demand and prompts companies to scale back on purchasing....

11/02/2001  today's spontaneous examples of primitive timesizing -
please patronize the companies we feature and tell them Timesizing.com sent you -
  1. [here's one of the best, with NO layoffs in the mix -]
    AirTran Airways issues statement from Joe Leonard; Statement regarding schedule and labor contract restorations, Business Wire BW0223 NOV 01 2001 via AOLNews.
    ORLANDO, Fla...- AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI), [yester]day issued the following statement regarding agreements made with the National Pilots Assoc. (NPA) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 528 (IBT) concerning the restoration of the temporary pay cuts and reduced workweeks following the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001. The NPA represents over 500 pilots while the IBT represents 530 mechanics and other related employees at AirTran Airways.
    "We greatly appreciate the proactive leadership of both the NPA and the IBT for responding to the schedule reductions necessitated in the period immediately following Sept. 11, 2001. The personal sacrifices made by our pilots, mechanics and related employees helped to avoid involuntary furloughs. With the planned restoration of our scheduled operations by mid-November, the addition of new service such as Tallahassee and Baltimore/Washington and the delivery of one new Boeing 717 aircraft each month, AirTran is pleased that we can allow these temporary contract changes to expire," states Joe Leonard, chairman and CEO.
    ...AirTran operates in 34 cities [centering on] Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport...where they are the second largest carrier....
    For more information and reservations, visit AirTran Airways' website at *www.airtran.com (AOL kywd: AirTran)...or call...800-AIRTRAN (800-247-8726) or 770-994-8258 (in Atlanta).
    [Or for timesizing details etc. -]
    Contact:... Tad Hutcheson, 407/251-5578 [in Orlando]....
    [For our first Airtran story, see 9/19/2001.]
    [Followup]
    AirTran ekes out profit despite drop in revenue, yield, 7/24/2002 Wall St Journal, D4.
    [More followup -]
    AirTrain Holdings Inc., Dow Jones via 1/29/2003 WSJ, D7.
    ...swung to a Q4 profit amid a [45%] increase in passenger traffic. The parent of low-fare carrier AirTran Airways reported net income of $7.5m, or 10 cents a share, in contrast with a year-earlier net loss of $14.2m, or 20 cents a share, when air travel was suffering from 9/11/01.... Load factor, or the %age of seats filled, climbed to 66% from 64%. The airline...also attributed its improved results to the addition of new, fuel-efficient Boeing 717 aircraft, as well as expense controls.
    [among which may be more timesizing?]

  2. Etc... - Waltham MA's Steinway Musical Instruments Inc., wire services via BG, E5.
    ...maker of Steinway & Sons pianos, said it will periodically shut down its New York plant to cut production as sales fall. The company's worldwide piano sales are forecast to fall 15-20% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.
    [Here's a company that really values its skilled craftsmen. No 'disposable employee syndrome' at Steinway pianos!]

  3. NEC furloughs, Bloomberg via BG, E2.
    NEC Corp., facing a deepening slump in demand for semiconductors, will ask 6,600 workers at four chip plants in Japan to take several days off this year. About 2,900 workers will take four days off by the end of the year, while 2,000 employees will be required to take between two and six days off this month, a spokesman said. Staff at two more chip plants were to stay home for one to three days, he said.
    [Not as good as reduced workweeks, but reduced workmonths at NEC seem to be doing the job of avoiding layoffs. Apparently not all companies in Japan have learned our shortsighted and recession-inducing practice of downsizing - though unfortunately enough have to keep Japan in recession now for over a decade.]

11/01/2001  today's spontaneous examples of primitive timesizing -
  1. EMC furloughs, Bloomberg via BG, C9.
    ...The largest maker of computer data storage systems asked its 1,600 employees in Ireland to take 10 days unpaid leave before Christmas to cut costs, the Irish Times quoted an unidentified source as saying. EMC said [last] month [10/18, #3] it plans to fire as many as 4,000 people worldwide to cut costs as companies reduce spending on computer-related products.... The company will not cut jobs in Ireland, the newspaper quoted the source as saying..\.. EMC employs about 19,000 worldwide....
    [So apparently the Irish employees are saved from downsizing because they're timesizing instead. Which raises the question, why didn't EMC timesize worldwide?]

  2. U.S. employment situation seen deteriorating further, by Joanne Morrison, Reuters 12:16 10-31-01 via AOLNews.
    ...The average work week is expected to slip to 33.8 hours [in the October reports] from 34.1 \in\ the previous month....
    [So if gradual workweek reduction is happening anyway, why don't we just take hold of the process, rationalize it and automate it so it's fair by means of some such process as timesizing, and we quit getting some people working megahours next to others about to lose their house 'cause they've been downsized and can't make the mortgage?! The fact that at the dawn of the third millennium, we're still divided into overworked and unemployed in an age of massive worksaving technology kinda calls in question our claims to being an "intelligent species."]


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