Companies Facing Layoffs

Companies Facing Layoffs
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Companies Facing Layoffs

Bank of America has joined a growing list of banks planning layoffs, announcing Sept. 12 that it would trim a whopping 30,000 jobs over the next several years. The nation's largest bank says it is aiming to save $5 billion annually with the cost-cutting plan.

BNY Mellon will cut three percent of its workforce, laying off approximately 1,500 employees, as a cost-cutting measure. According to CEO Bob Kelly, revenue has been growing but "expenses have been growing unsustainably faster."

Merck plans to cut up to 13,000 jobs worldwide by 2015, on top of almost 17,000 layoffs planned after its 2009 merger with Schering-Plough. This new round of job cuts represents a 12-13% reduction in employment and is intended, in the words of CEO Kenneth Frazier, to address “the need to operate more flexibly and nimbly, from a lower cost base.”

HSBC will cut around 10,000 jobs, three percent of its worldwide workforce, as part of an aggressive cost-cutting campaign. Stuart T. Gulliver, CEO since January, has said he wants to reduce operating expenses by at least $2.5 billion over two to three years, and plans to do so in part by selling HSBC’s bankcard business in the U.S.

In addition to peers HSBC, Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs is reportedly looking to lay off as many as 1,000 employees in order to boost its bottom line. The secretive firm said only that its cuts would be broad-based but were unlikely to be significant in its growth markets, where investment would continue.

In late July, beleaguered smartphone maker Research in Motion said it would cut 10.5 percent of its employees, or around 2,000 workers. Competition from Google and Android has eaten into the company’s profitability and share price, and its foray into the tablet computer market -- the Blackberry Playbook – has so far fizzled.

In July, Cisco announced an effort to save $1 billion that would entail the elimination of 6,5000 employees – 2,100 early retirements and 4,400 layoffs. Management is not immune: In fact, vice presidents and higher are to be cut by 15%, while the full-time, regular workforce sees a 9% reduction.

Barclays, which already shed 1,400 jobs this year, is said to be preparing for another round of cuts in the second half of 2011, targeting the same figure (or slightly more). The layoffs come on the heels of a fall in profits, which were down by a third.

In June, Sears Holding Corporation, employer of 300,000, announced it would cut 700 workers from the more expensive appliances departments at Kmart. Some may have been transferred; remaining employees were trained to answer customers’ questions.

Government contractor Lockheed Martin—total workforce: 126,00—said in June that it would cut 1,500 jobs from its Aeronautics division. In July, the company announced a voluntary layoff program for 6,500 more employees, offering a severance package to all salaried U.S. workers at corporate headquarters and internal business services.

As Delta Air Lines cut back on its number of flights, 2,000 workers took voluntary buyouts near the end of July. That’s out of a total workforce of over 80,000.

In a cost-cutting move, Swiss banking giant UBS (UBS) announced August 23 that it would trim 3,500 people from its workforce over the next two-and-a-half years. Most of the cuts, which are expected to save $2.5 billion in annual costs, will be in the firm's underperforming investment banking unit. The New York Times reported that the bank will take a charge of $698 million and most of that will be this year.

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