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You are Here: Home > Blog > Layoffs Loom – Updated

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Employee Rights and Related Matters

Layoffs Loom – Updated

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

According to recent news stories, the following major companies are likely to lay off employees in the near future, because of financial troubles linked to the credit crisis, economic crisis or both. Those that display asterisks (*) were added after this post was initially published on October 21, 2008.

  • Automakers *
  • Circuit City
  • Comcast *
  • Merck *
  • Merrill Lynch & Co.
  • National City Corp.
  • Texas Instruments
  • Whirlpool *
  • Xerox *
  • Yahoo

More about each layoff is below.

According to the New York Times, Chrysler will axe approximately 25 percent (5,000) of its salaried and contract workforce starting in November, through buyout and early-retirement offerings followed by layoffs. Meanwhile, according to Reuters, Chrysler and General Motors (GM) are negotiating a merger which will save Chrysler jobs, if the automakers can acquire the billions in government financial aid necessary to complete the deal.

Earlier this year, General Motors and Ford announced layoffs, mostly due to shrinking sales of gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs; both struggling automakers recently announced that they are planning more cutbacks, including layoffs.

Circuit City
The Wall Street Journal reported that the electronics retail chain is considering closing at least 150 stores and laying off employees. Because of the credit crisis, the retailer is having difficulty acquiring emergency financing to launch a turnaround.

The Philadelphia-based cable company will soon cut 300 division and regional management jobs through layoffs in its Eastern Division, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. The layoffs are part of the company’s plan to consolidate the Eastern Division’s six regions into four. Comcast said that it would try to find other jobs for laid-off workers.

CNBC reported that the pharmaceutical company will eliminate 6,800 jobs (12 percent of its workforce) worldwide, while other sources reported that it will eliminate 7,200 jobs. In either case, the job cuts are in addition to the 10,400 jobs that Merck previously eliminated. The company indicated that its third-quarter profit fell 28 percent from shrinking sales.

Merrill Lynch & Co.
Chief Executive John Thain said that he expects thousands of job cuts after Bank of America acquires the company, according to Bloomberg News. Thain indicated in a TV interview that most of the layoffs will take place in information technology, operations and finance, and that jobs wouldn’t be eliminated in fixed income and commodities.

One day later, Bloomberg reported that Merrill is set to cut 500 jobs in its trading divisions, including trader jobs in its fixed-income and equity divisions.

National City Corp.
According to Reuters, the Midwest regional bank plans to lay off 4,000 employees, about 14 percent of its workforce, over the next three years. The bank recently suffered its fifth quarterly loss in a row, from mortgage and real-estate construction loans gone bad.

Texas Instruments
Weak chip sales was the reason given to the Associated Press, for the company’s plans to lay off 650 workers in six countries. The layoffs will take place in a unit that makes cell-phone chips. The company is in talks to sell off part of same the unit.

The appliance maker said it would eliminate 7 percent of its workforce through 2009, according to Reuters. The 7 percent workforce reduction cumulatively includes previous layoffs from plant closures, plus new layoffs. Whirlpool indicated that it must eliminate about 5,000 jobs because of shrinking sales in the weakening global economy, along with paying higher costs for oil and metals.

Reuters relayed the message that the world’s top supplier of digital printer and document management services, will lay off about 5 percent of its workforce (approximately 3,000 employees) worldwide. Xerox’s sales of higher-end digital printers are shrinking from the weak U.S. economy, causing the company to trim costs through layoffs and other measures.

The New York Times reported that the Internet company plans to lay off at least 1,500 of its 15,000 workers, as part of its expense-cutting measures. According to analysts, Yahoo’s plans to form a search advertising partnership with Google and merge with AOL have bogged down, leaving the company little choice but to cut expenses through layoffs.

The company lost 64 percent of its net income in the third quarter, from online marketers cutting advertising budgets.

Have you lost your job through a layoff or suffered a reduction in work hours? If so, then you might be eligible for full or partial unemployment benefits provided by the relevant state unemployment office. You might also be eligible for health insurance benefits through COBRA. To find a new job, start at the Job Search page.

For the big picture, see the blog post Mass Layoffs Report – Monthly.

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