Companies slash more than 50,000 jobs
From wire reports
More companies announced major job cuts Monday as they cut costs in the face of a struggling economy.
Even news of a major deal in the pharmaceutical industry had its share of bad jobs news. Pfizer will pay $68 billion for rival Wyeth.At the same time, Pfizer announced cost cuts that include slashing more than 8,000 jobs. After the deal closes Pfizer expects to cut more jobs. The company said it expects eventually to cut the companies' combined workforce 15%.
Companies planning cuts:
•General Motors (GM) said it is cutting production at assembly plants in Lansing, Mich., and Lordstown, Ohio, resulting in 2,000 job losses.
In addition, the automaker plans to reduce its production of vehicles this year by adding various weeks of shutdowns at other company plants, said Sherrie Childers Arb, a GM spokeswoman.
She said 800 hourly and salaried jobs will be lost at the Lordstown facility and 1,200 at the Delta Township plant near Lansing.
"We need to right-size our production with our sales and inventory. We need to do that," Ed Peper, GM North America vice president of Chevrolet, said after a meeting with GM dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention Sunday in New Orleans.
•Caterpillar (CAT) said it plans about 20,000 job cuts, including positions held by Caterpillar employees, contract and agency workers. The cuts will come through layoffs and buyouts.
The jobs announcement came as Caterpillar, the world's largest maker of mining and construction equipment, said Monday its fourth-quarter profit plunged 32% and that it expects sharply lower results this year as the world economy continues to contract.
WHAT CATERPILLAR SAYS: Read the release
Caterpillar said earnings slid as mining companies and other customers scaled back purchases amid slumping commodity prices, the credit freeze and tough market conditions. The results reflect the troubled state of the global economy as Caterpillar's products are used worldwide in a range of industries.
Caterpillar, an economic bellwether and component of the Dow Jones industrial average, earned $661 million, or $1.08 a share, during the three months ended Dec. 31. It earned $975 million, or $1.50 a share, in the same period a year earlier.
Revenue rose 6% to $12.92 billion.
Analysts, on average, expected Caterpillar to report earnings of $1.31 a share on revenue of $12.84 billion, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. In recent weeks, analysts have forecast continued weak earnings for Caterpillar and other U.S.-based machinery firms, pointing to the weakening construction and mining markets and an infrastructure spending plan proposed by President Obama that may not boost equipment demand anytime soon.
•Sprint Nextel (S) is eliminating about 8,000 positions in the first quarter as it seeks to cut annual costs by $1.2 billion.
The nation's third-largest wireless provider said Monday it will complete the layoffs, about 14% of its 56,000 employees, largely by March 31. About 850 of the reductions are voluntary and the company said it expected a first quarter charge of more than $300 million for severance and other costs.
The company said it is also suspending its 401(k) match for the year, extending a freeze on salary increases and is suspending a tuition reimbursement program.
"Labor reductions are always the most difficult action to take, but many companies are finding it necessary in this environment," Chief Executive Office Dan Hesse said in a news release. "Our commitment to quality will not change."
Sprint spokesman James Fisher said the company is still deciding where the job cuts will come from but said officials will likely avoid significant reductions in its customer service and network quality divisions, where the company has focused on improvement in recent years.
•Home Depot (HD) is cutting 7,000 jobs and closing its smaller Expo chain as the recession continues to batter the nation's housing market.
The nation's largest home improvement retailer said the cuts will affect about 2% of its work force.
Under the plan, the retailer will close its 34 Expo Design Centers, five Yardbirds stores, two Design Center stores and a bath remodeling business that has seven locations. Those stores will close in the next two months.
Its core Home Depot stores won't be affected.
In addition to the 5,000 jobs at the design center, the company also plans to shed 2,000 non-store jobs and freeze the pay of its officers.
Home Depot will record a $532 million pretax charge in the fourth quarter related to the closures and layoffs.
•Texas Instruments(TXN), which makes chips for cellphones and other gadgets, said Monday that it will cut 3,400 jobs because demand has slackened amid a slowing economy.
The company said it will cut 12% of its work force — 1,800 jobs through layoffs and another 1,600 jobs through voluntary retirements and departures. Between those and another round of job cuts announced in October, the company expects annual savings of $700 million.
"We are realigning our expenses with a global economy that continues to weaken," said Rich Templeton, chairman and chief executive, in a statement. "By reducing expenses now, we keep TI financially strong and able to invest for future growth."
• Dutch bank ING unveiled a sweeping shake-up that will cut 7,000 jobs, about 5% of its 130,000 workforce, and see CEO Michel Tilmant replaced by board Chairman Jan Hommen.
•Corus, Europe's second biggest steelmaker, is cutting 3,500 jobs worldwide, mostly in Britain.
Holy hell I could not get those cuts to work. -__- Sorry guys.