Friday, November 28, 2008

Jet proposes 5-10% salary cut for employees

Forward by Srilaxmi

Facing the heat of economic slowdown, the Jet Airways management was on Sunday understood to have suggested a five to ten per cent salary
cut for its employees drawing monthly salary above Rs 75,000 and a voluntary retirement scheme for older staff.

A meeting of the management, presided by Jet Chairman Naresh Goyal at a five-star hotel here, has decided to have a graded salary structure for all employees but kept a threshold for it saying those drawing Rs 75,000 per month would not face any cut in their salary, sources said.

The graded structure would be applicable to those getting above Rs 75,000 per month, they said.

The management is also understood to have set up a committee to study the graded structure.

However, the management was unable to convince its domestic pilots to accept salary cuts ranging from 10 to 20 per cent, sources said.

The airlines management is understood to have suggested a ten per cent slash in pay packets of junior pilots and a 20 per cent cut for senior pilots.

But the pilots suggested that Airlines should do away with the expatriate pilots as they were a “huge burden” on the airlines because of their high salary packages,” a source close to the development told PTI.

The Airlines has currently 1,000 pilots with 200 expat pilots.

A proposal was also mooted to provide Voluntary Retirement Service (VRS) to some of the older employees to cut cost, the source said.

“However, Goyal did not accept the proposal, saying the Airlines did not have money to offer such a package,” the source said.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

November Layoff Stats! - American 86,795

Forward by Ramana

Nov. 17: Citigroup raises the interest rates on its credit cards and cuts 53,000 jobs.

Nov. 14: Computer network builder Sun Microsystems hopes to save $800 million a year with a 6,000-person reduction in workforce.

Nov. 13: United States Steel pink-slips 675 workers (2% of its staff). Stock down 80% from July to November.

Nov. 12: Las Vegas Sands is putting several billion-dollar Macau-based projects on hold. As many as 11,000 workers will be laid off.

Nov. 12: Morgan Stanley announces 2,000 job cuts. This includes a 10% cut in the company’s institutional securities group and a 9% cut in its asset-management group.

Nov. 12: Liberty Media’s home shopping channel QVC announces a 910-worker layoff.

Nov. 12: Cessna Aircraft, a subsidiary of conglomerate Textron , fires 665.

Nov. 10: General Motors lays off 1,900 employees from its powertrain and stamping division. An additional 3,600 assembly employees were already getting pink-slipped.

Nov. 7: Ford Motor cuts 2,600 hourly employees in the U.S.

Nov. 6: Toy producer Mattel announces 1,000 job cuts globally in preparation for a tough holiday season.

Nov. 6: Five-year-old Atlantic City establishment the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa–a joint venture between Boyd Gaming and MGM Mirage –sacks 400 employees.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Citigroup set to cut 75,000 jobs

Forward by Soni

US bank Citigroup has announced plans for about 53,000 new job cuts, on top of a previously announced 22,000.

Citigroup said the 75,000 job cuts represented a reduction of about 20% of its staff, leaving it with 300,000 jobs worldwide “in the near term”.

The cuts will come from redundancies, the sale of units and natural wastage, the bank said.

Citigroup has lost more than $20bn (£13.6bn) in the past year because of the global financial crisis.

It has posted four straight quarterly losses and some analysts believe the bank will not make a profit again until 2010.

Turnaround plan

Certainly [the job cuts] will fall particularly heavily on London and New York
Win Bischoff, Citigroup chairman

“Underlying business remains strong and revenues have been stable,” the bank said.

Citigroup also said its capital position was “very strong”.

The bank expects its expenses to be down 20% from peak levels, to about $50bn in 2009, after the job cuts have taken effect.

“Certainly [the job cuts] will fall particularly heavily on London and New York,” Citigroup chairman Win Bischoff said at a business forum in Dubai.

Citigroup’s chief executive Vikram Pandit has come under pressure from critics who have doubted his ability to turn around the company and weather the financial crisis.

Shares in Citigroup dropped 4.4% to $9.10 in early trading. They are down almost 70% this year.

Citigroup, one of the largest US banks, is one of nine financial institutions benefiting from the US government’s bail-out programme.

The Treasury announced last month that it would be providing cash injections worth $125bn to be shared between Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Bank of New York Mellon, State Street and Merrill Lynch.

Monday, November 17, 2008


News: Sun Microsystems to cut 6,000 jobs

Forwarded by venkat
Sun Microsystems Inc plans to cut as many as 6,000 jobs as the company tries to cope with plunging sales of server computers to financ
ial firms, market-share losses to bigger competitors, and a spiraling stock price.

The reduction, which will eliminate as much as 18 per cent of the staff, will shave $700 million to $800 million from annual expenses, Sun said in an e-mailed statement. The moves will cost as much as $600 million in the next 12 months.

The Santa Clara, California-based company is cutting back in response to “global economic realities,” Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Schwartz said. Sun, the fourth-largest server maker, last month posted its second loss in three quarters and said its financial-services customers were curbing orders until they have more liquidity.

“We see the level of concern spreading around the world,” Schwartz said in a telephone interview. “Customers are saying, `I am in pain, and I need budget relief.”’

He sees that as a chance to spread adoption of Sun’s MySQL open-source database applications and Java programming language, which are free. Sun sells servers and service contracts with the software. To take advantage of the opportunity, Sun said it will reorganise its software business. Rich Green, executive vice president for software, will leave.

Sun, down 77 per cent this year before today, rose 4 cents to $4.12 at 4 pm on the Nasdaq Stock Market. A high-flier in the dot-com era — Sun traded at $257.25 in September 2000 — the stock has been under $5 for two weeks.

Valley hurting

Sun is the third company in Santa Clara, at the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, to cut jobs this week as technology companies cope with the worst sales slump since the dot-com bubble burst in 2000. Applied Materials Inc, the largest maker of chip-production machinery, announced plans to cut 1,800 jobs, and mobile-phone chip builder National Semiconductor Corp said it will shed about 5 per cent of its staff.

The Sun job cuts will take place worldwide, with most of the US positions eliminated in the third fiscal quarter, spokeswoman Kristi Rawlinson
said. The company had about 33,000 employees at the end of September.

Schwartz has spent two years overhauling Sun, which posted five years of losses under former CEO Scott McNealy. The company continues to lose market share in servers, the computers that run corporate networks and account for almost half of revenue. Last quarter Sun had a $1.45 billion expense to write down the value of acquisitions.

No leadership change

“There might be a little disappointment today, not in the numbers, but in that you didn’t get a change in leadership announced along with those job cuts,” said Brent Bracelin, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, Oregon.

Five analysts recommend selling Sun shares, four suggest buying them, and 12, including Bracelin, have “hold” ratings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Southeastern Asset Management, based in Memphis, Tennessee, increased its stake to 21 percent of Sun’s outstanding stock last month and said it intended to be more active in corporate governance and management. Relational Investors LLC, run by activist investor Ralph Whitworth, disclosed that it held 5.88 million Sun shares as of June 30.

KKR investment

In January 2007, an investment fund owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co bought $700 million of Sun’s convertible notes. James H Greene Jr, a KKR general partner, has been on Sun’s board since January of this year.

“Sun’s actions announced today, while very difficult for employees, bring the company’s cost structure more in line with its revenue,” Greene
said in a statement released by Sun. “Based on Sun’s enhanced product portfolio, including a broad open-source offering, we have encouraged them to pursue a more focused strategy that builds upon these strengths.”

Worldwide technology spending in 2009 will grow less than predicted, research firm IDC said this week, and computer-related companies are trimming forecasts. Intel Corp slashed $1 billion from its fourth-quarter sales goal two days ago.

Spending industrywide will rise 2.6 per cent next year, down from an estimate of 5.9 per cent, Framingham, Massachusetts-based IDC said. Growth in the US will probably slow to 0.9 per cent, less than a quarter the pace IDC forecast in August.

Dire situation
Sales at Sun fell 11 per cent to $1.76 billion in the period ended Sept 28. Server revenue declined 15 per cent, and dropped in every region except for emerging markets.

Sun trails International Business Machines Corp, Hewlett- Packard Co and Dell Inc in servers. In the calendar second quarter, Sun’s share of the $13.8 billion market dropped to 11.8 per cent from 13.4 per cent a year earlier, according to Stamford, Connecticut-based research firm Gartner Inc Sun’s revenue fell in the period, while IBM, Dell and Hewlett-Packard all gained.

The company is struggling to sell its highest-priced servers and many of its recent orders have been for low-end systems, according to Dan Olds, a Gabriel Consulting Group analyst in Beaverton, Oregon.

Louis Miscioscia, a Boston-based analyst at Cowen & Co, said results have been disappointing for seven straight quarters. He compared Sun to a comatose patient.

“You’re hooked up to the machine, everything’s going to keep working because your body is still there, but are you ever going to see that comeback?” he said. “You might be around for 40 more years before you die. That’s the situation.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fidelity National Investments Services sacks 10% of its workforce!

Forward by Srujan

Fidelity National Information Services
(FIS) has given pink slips to over 100 employees at its Chennai operations. This constitutes more
than 10% of its staff in the metro. Though the company, which has been in India
for over a decade, termed the move as ‘rationalisation’, employees are on the edge.

A leading provider of core processing for financial institutions, card issuer and transaction processing, and related information products and outsourcing, FIS has a headcount of over 4,000 employees across India. The sacked staff were unceremoniously escorted out of the office once they handed over their laptops and other official gadgets, sources told ET.

“Employees are on the edge. Those who got fired did not have any clue about it. Nobody knows what criteria was applied…whether it was the CTC parameter or poor performance. A mail was sent to the employees asking them to leave,” sources added.

Chennai operations has more than 1,000 staff. Among those axed, included four in the directorial cadre. An official from the US came specifically for retrenching people. Bangalore and Gurgaon are the next downsizing targets.

Apparently, one more round of this is expected to take place in Chennai next week. After repeated attempts, FIS HR VP Prashant Sharma responded to a mail from ET on Thursday. “FIS India is an integral part of the global enterprise and will play a critical role in the company’s future growth plans.

This is demonstrated by the fact that over the years FIS has introduced new processes and products in India which have created immense opportunities for many employees who have participated in this growth.

FIS Human resource and talent management practices are based on internal as well as client business requirements and these are reviewed periodically to ensure efficient and prudent management. As a result of this review, there has been rationalisation of some staff in our Chennai location only.

While the rationalisation is taking place at Chennai, FIS India is hiring at other locations, which include Gurgaon and Mumbai. In fact despite the trying times that the markets are going through, FIS’s recent 3rd quarter results have been above expectations and we are confident that we will continue to have growth opportunities for our employees in India.”

Global Logic shows the door to 125 employees

Forward by Ramana

In another hit to the IT sector, GlobalLogic, one of the largest outsourced product development companies in India, has laid off
about 125 employees. While 108 employees were asked to leave ‘due to poor grading in the appraisals’ concluded in October, another 17 were told to leave because their ‘skill sets fell obsolete’.

The over $100-mn company, which has delivery centres in Noida, Nagpur and Pune, confirmed the layoffs but said the figure is 115. GlobalLogic CEO Peter Harrison, who flew in from the US this week, called an emergency townhall meeting to announce the drastic steps.

“We believe in sharing the numbers (of layoffs) with employees as we don’t want to create any anxiety. A transparent organisation is the most productive one,” said its marketing
head Rohit Sharma. Over the last two years, GlobalLogic reduced its headcount to 2,000 from 3,000. The company has also consolidated its verticals into three—B2B, B2C and telecom—to reduce flab and overlap.

In another interesting twist, one of the co-founders and partner Rajul Garg has resigned from the executive management team as the HR head to pursue entrepreneurial activities ‘outside the company’. He now just has a position on the board. The company is now on a lookout for a new HR head.

Business flow from start ups and emerging product companies has been impacted due to the slowdown. To reduce its discretionary spend, GlobalLogic has done away with paper or plastic tumblers and provided coffee mugs to employees. Single employee pick or drops even at night are now curtailed.

The company has also restructured its management team under which the Indian operations head Mukul Jain will now become the global head. The new India country manager and the existing Ukraine and China heads will report to him.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Managements- Get your act together before layoffs

Forward by Venkat

Managements- Get your act together before layoffs Else Repent in leisure

I thought I will write an article on this issue of layoffs and how Managements could handle it better. After all so many lives could be dependent on one breadwinner of the family, that may be your close friend or your own colleague or your relative. Without doubt, Layoffs cant be avoided because of the disturbing recessionary trends Globally. But what could be avoided is the intense heartburn between the Employer and the laid off employee. What is been happening in the past few months when it comes to layoffs is not right and unethical. and it is in this direction I thought I will contribute something positive in these negative times.

I just read about one IT Firm offering Severance package of Two months salary to the laid off employee..I think it is ridiculous. mostly it is the basic component of the salary they are talking about..and not take-home salary..that would work out to just 50% and altogether Severance package will work out to be only One month takehome salary. Can draw laidoff people mad with their family’s financial commitments..

Ofcourse, Indian IT companies when they got Good Annual profits (as they did in the past 5-10 years) did not share as much as the Employee deserved. But atleast when they are not doing well, they can share those money sacks lying in their Bank coffers. atleast by giving decent severance packages..

To say the least, Severence packages are measly in our country. I am not talking abt any one IT Company in particular, but most Indian IT Firms. Managements have to work on how they can give the best package rather than citing the old employee contracts, Indian market facts, Global recession,performance appraisals and such lame excuses. If you can give decent offers monetarily while these employees where being recruited in truckloads, follow the very same policy during exit too. Give employees what they deserve. Where are the voices from NASSCOMS and CIIs. Are they only for protecting Employer interests ??

Before politicians come knocking on the IT CEO’s doors just like they did as in Jet issue, it is better they understand the situation and give the laidoff employees decent bye-bye packages. Else there are umpteen unions and Violence-happy outfits who are ready to exploit the volatile situation. As a sane person, I dont think we should give such nasty-minded outfits a chance to do that..All is well when it is well..and yes this holds viceversa too. Play your cards right.

Managements, Get your act together before it is too late. Be Professional. Let it be a win-win situation to both managements as well as the pink-slipped employees.

American Express India cuts Jobs!

Credit card company American Express has asked some of its senior managerial employees to quit as part of its strategy to save costs.

The layoffs are primarily in Delhi and Bangalore and all the employees who have been asked to quit have been with Amex India for the past 15 to 20 years. Amex India has hired a consultancy to help sacked employees find a new job. The company currently has around 6,000 employees in India.

PTI reports the company is believed to have handed over pink slips to about 200 employees and senior executives.

The report on layoffs comes on a day when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked Indian companies to “refrain from large-scale lay-offs”. Singh on Monday warned industry leaders that layoffs may lead to a “negative spiral”.

“While every effort needs to be made to cut cost and raise productivity, I hope there will be no knee-jerk reaction such as large-scale layoffs, which may lead to a negative spiral,” Singh said on Monday.

American Express confirmed that it would cut jobs in India but said it cannot give a specific number. “Approximately 7,000 jobs are being eliminated company-wide which translates into about 10 percent of the company’s worldwide workforce,” the company said in a press statement.

“While we cannot give you specific numbers for India, we can tell you that we (Indian operation) are not the main focus for restructuring,” it said. “Reduction will occur throughout the company and across business units, markets and staff groups, primarily focusing on management and other positions that do not interact directly with customers.”

American Express, last week, announced it would lay off 7,000 employees—about 10 per cent of its worldwide workforce—to save $1.8 billion in costs in 2009.

PTI reports the company would also suspend management-level salary hikes for the next year and curtail hiring.

Jet Airways was last month was forced to withdrew its decision to sack 1,900 employees.

Monday, November 3, 2008

IBS Trivandrum Layoffs confirmed

Forward by Pooja

Flexing its muscles against the staff retrenchment in IT firms in the wake of economic recession, Kerala Government has ordered a probe into the dismissal of 20 professionals from Technopark-based IBS Software Services (P) Ltd.

CITU veteran and Labour Minister P K Gurudasan asked the Deputy Labour Commissioner (DLO) to probe the incident and see whether action could be initiated against the company as per the Industrial Disputes Act. “The Government has the responsibility to ensure that companies stick to labour regulations,” he said.

Accordingly, officials of the Labour Department visited IBS and sought service details of the staff. As Saturday was a holiday for the company, further inquiry would be held on Monday.

“The Labour Department cannot suo motu take any action in this regard. The dismissed employees should file complaints,” said DLO Abdul Nisthar.

Chief Minister’s IT advisor Joseph Mathew said the probe has send a clear message to the industry that the Government was committed to protect the interest of the workforce. “The Government had made clear that even SEZs would not be exempted from labour laws. The hire and fire policy of the IT industry is an ill effect of globalisation,” he said.

IBS CEO V K Mathews told The Indian Express that the Government move was in bad taste. It is a pity that Kerala raised a non-issue, especially when 60 per cent of the 2,500-strong IBS workforce hailed from the state, he said.

Mathews said the employees were shown the door as their performance was not up to the mark. He said the dismissed employees were given two months salary as per the contract.