Posted:This is a combination rant/vent. But I've had alot of friends overseas who've been following some of what is going on economically here write me, so I thought I'd put up what is going on, here.
I work for Xerox, an international company, as a contract in a lab. This is my 2nd year and I love it.
We sell develop, manufacture and distribute copiers and toners for corporations that cost millions of dollars. When the stocks fell and the economy started this downward spiral, we lost several of our major accounts, thus losing millions. We also, like everyone else dropped in stocks, which cost us millions. Of course, to even this out the decision was made to "reorganize" the company.
What this added up to was: The closing of 3 plants globally...2 in the US and 1 in Brazil. The cutting of 3000 jobs, or 6% of the company. 6% may not seem like alot but it actually is.
The cutting of the plants killed about 1200 jobs. Then they put out a call for VRIFs (Voluntary Reduction in Force ie: early retirement). Many, many people answered. Not enough and sadly many of them are upper level management and subject matter experts. No one was trained to take their place. There are things in developement that letting them go is like cutting off our leg and attempting to limp along. These guys were all walked out by security on Friday. It was such an odd thing to see so many people leave, knowing they will never come back. It's odd to see empty desks where life once thrived.
Next in the reorg come the redundancy IRIF (Involuntary Reduction of Force). If, after the reorginazation, there are two people occupying the same job, one will be let go. After that if the quota is still not made, then everyone's head is on the cutting board.
The company is running on essentially a skeleton crew as it is. I've worked 12-13 hour days for two weeks now, including going in on weekends (not complaining, I love getting overtime).
We were told all of this would happen before the holidays, but it didn't. So now we have this looming black cloud hanging over us for the holiday. It's a very somber-sobering thing.
My housemate had a job at another lab in the same company. His contract got cut, he can't find a job. He's leaving here and moving back in with his parents 11 hours away until he can find something here again. This makes me sad.
The guys who work, in a union even, in manufacturing were told that they had to take the 2 weeks over the holiday without pay because there was no work for them. We have no orders for them to build right now. The mass majority of these guys are family guys, factory lifetimers. The union did nothing to protect them from this, except offering to take extra money from future checks to cover the fee payment missed from the two non-exsistent checks.
Why all now? Because if the company makes all the cuts now, it makes this last quarter of the fiscal year look *horrible* BUT the first quarter of the next fiscal year, when the payroll is adjusted and what orders we do have are pushed back to being filled then, it will make the company look like it's bouncing back and doing well. And in stocks, isn't percpetion a massive part of it?
Following all this, our CEO gave herself a nice "bonus" for "keeping the company afloat", even though we were told there would be no holiday bonuses for us, no annual merit bonuses...nothing. I have a few choice words for her.
Sadly, this is not uncommon. I know people who work at other large companies who are experiencing similar. And this with the auto-industry crap (where the workers got sold up the river by their own union).
On top of that, every small business owner I know has experienced a drop as well, some are debating bankruptsy. My personal businesses are not suffer that badly but they're slower, which is why I need to stay where I am because it's too hard to find another job.
Just thought some of you might be interested.
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Posted:unfortunately it seems that this sort of thing is going to become increasingly common, with even Toyota (which is often held up as an example of how to run a business) cutting jobs.
What really annoys me is the director's attitudes to their bonuses: they tend to be given targets to achieve their bonuses and then they often go all out to get these without actually doing any long term thinking: having done some business finance study, I know realise how easy it is for people to manipulate things like stock price or return on capital employed (ROCE) to improve their end of year results.
To be honest, I think the government bailout of US motorcar companies is a waste of time: I can understand the role of banks in setting up new businesses and thus their need for a bail out (although I absolutely think they should be penalised for their behaviour).
Although of course I don't want anybody to lose their jobs, the sad truth is that if you bail out a company now, the odds are they will simply fail later unless they completely overhaul the way they operate (like Marks and Spencers or British Airways). I'd argue the money would be better spent on developing new businesses (probably small to medium businesses) which are adapted to the current economic climate: leaner and tougher
Oops gone a bit off the topic there, but yes I think its sick that the company is being manipulated for the benefit of the directors.
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Posted:executive salaries are a real issue in australia of late. its kind of a moral crusade taken by the media to point out how much bullship it is that companys are losing money or reducing their expected profits but the directors still give themselves payrises and bonuses. i honestly wouldnt be suprised if some sort of executive serverance/bonus pay laws or taxes are made by the government within the next few years.
recent local example being our state chief of police recieved a brand new $55 000 european car as part of his pay package and is still recieving full pay although he is actually currently suspended while being on trial for leaking confidential police info to politicians.
Originally Posted By: lazy angel director's attitudes to their bonuses: they tend to be given targets to achieve their bonuses and then they often go all out to get these without actually doing any long term thinking
so so true and so frustrating. upper management dont take pride in their work any more. they just make sure the company looks good for a couple years so they get a nice fat check to part with and once they've left they dont give a flying fluck what it lands them with.
and bailing out companys doesnt make sense to me either. i know it keeps jobs and such, but surely if the company needs bailing out more money isnt going to keep the market going. companys are successful when their product is needed/wanted. if their product isnt needed/wanted they go bust. i would have thought it would make more sense for the government to invest in newer markets that have products/services that are needed and will continue to be in the future.
also the simple fact that the US government is giving private companies money is insane! if i was handing over 300 billion i would be asking "what do i get in return?". part ownership motherf. i give you the money and i get a say in what happens with it and if the business goes up again, i get my money back and then some.
you KNOW if it was the government going bust private companies would take advantage of it.
and a final note, remember the stories about freddie and fannie executive holidaying in the most expensive resort in the US while the government was arranging to bail their companies out of bankruptcy! WHAT THE . executives and directors have to be made responsible for the companys they control, they need to EARN their salary.
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