Bankruptcy and Economic News: Mountain Region Layoffs
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Layoffs in Mountain Division (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming)

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Arizona Job Loss

A Phoenix call center is one of the latest Arizona companies to see layoffs.

Last week the Minneapolis-based company which owns the call center announced it's closing that center and has to layoff 175 workers.

The company specializes in making custom blank checks and is merging its four call centers into three.

It's other call centers in Kansas, North Carolina and California will add employees. The laid-off Phoenix workers will have the chance to apply for jobs there.

Mass Layoffs Updates for June 22, 2009

Throughout Arizona, school districts have begun to recall teachers who were previously laid off on April 15 of this past year. As a result of a clearer budget plan and the retirement of instructors, many of the 7,000 teachers handed pink slips in April are returning to work, according to the Arizona Education Association. For example, Deer Valley Unified School District has recalled 71 out of 105 teachers previously laid off as a result of resignations, retirements, and staff movement.

Announced the week of June 10, spokesman Tom Shanahan said that the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare plans to lay off nearly two dozen employees this month. This includes four of the seven regional directors. Shanahan says the department will leave vacant positions open to absorb a $9.5 million cut in personnel costs for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Overall, the layoffs will save the agency more than $500,000 a year.

Mass Layoffs Updates for April 6, 2009

The Denver Business Journal reported Eastman Kodak Co. will close two manufacturing operations at its Windsor, Colorado plant this year and eliminate 300 jobs. The company says that the layoffs are part of its ongoing efforts "maintain competitiveness and maximize utilization of worldwide manufacturing capacity."

Grand Sierra Resort Corp. in Reno, Nevada laid off more than 50 workers, or 2.5 percent of its workforce. Grand Sierra is the largest resort in Northern Nevada. The Associated Press reports Nevada casinos have had 13 straight months of declines in winnings.

The Inn of the Mountain of Gods Resort and Casino in Mescalero, New Mexico filed information with the Securities and Exchange Commission confirming the details of the layoffs of four members of management. According to The Las Cruces Sun-News, there are unconfirmed rumors of eminent mass layoffs at the Inn and travel center.

Mass Layoffs Updates for August 29, 2008

It may be good news for turkeys, but it's definitely bad news for Butterball LLC employees. Butterball has announced that 265 workers will be laid off at its plant in Longmont, Colorado and the plant will no longer raise or slaughter turkeys. The Daily Camera reported that this is the second round of layoffs at Butterball. Approximately 209 workers recently worked their last days after they were notified in June that they would be laid off. After the layoffs are complete, only 390 workers will remain at the plant, which will operate as a "further processing plant," using turkey meat brought in from other locations. Butterball says the layoffs are part of an operational strategy to curb losses as the costs for corn, soybean meal and other feed ingredients continue to soar.

Mass Layoffs Updates for July 23, 2008

Sun Microsystems Inc. will lay off 212 workers in Broomfield and Louisville, Colorado by the end of September, according to a report by the Associated Press Financial Wire. Approximately 1,000 Sun employees in the United States and Canada have already been laid off and more layoffs within the company are also likely between December 23 and January 5 as it downsizes. Two months ago, Sun announced that it would lay off 1,500 to 2,000 workers company-wide.

Mass Layoffs Updates for June 27, 2008

La-Z-Boy Inc. will close an assembly plant in Tremonton, Utah on June 26. More than 400 employees were laid off on June 2, and another 200 workers will be laid off at the end of June. The company plans to spend $20 million to improve production in other locations. The sewing and cutting jobs in Utah will be transferred to Mexico. The remaining work functions will be taken on by five other U.S. La-Z-Boy plants. La-Z-Boy is helping workers find other employment through an outplacement firm it has hired, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Mass Layoffs Updates for May 21, 2008

Is the fad of wearing brightly colored rubbery clog shoes fading away? Crocs Inc. has laid off 27 workers in the Boulder, Colorado area. Last month the company closed its plant in Canada in order to consolidate production, according to a report by Just Style. The company has also recently been sued in a personal injury lawsuit after a child was injured on an escalator while wearing Crocs.

Mass Layoffs Updates for April 10, 2008

La-Z-Boy Inc. has announced that it will close its plant in Tremonton, Utah this summer and lay off 630 workers. The furniture manufacturer says that the plant closing is part of a nationwide restructuring that will move approximately 1,200 U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico. The company reported a 7.8 percent decline in revenue for the quarter that ended in January, according to a report by the Deseret Morning Sun.

Honeywell International Inc. will lay off 420 workers at Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix, Arizona. The Associated Press State and Local Wire reports that these positions will be outsourced to Indonesia and Malaysia.

Adam Aircraft Industries Inc. in Englewood, Colorado has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, according to The Denver Post. The trustee in the case is currently negotiating with potential buyers for the sale of the company's assets. Adam Aircraft has shut down operations and laid off 500 employees after it failed to secure funding that would enable future operations.

Russell Stover Candies Inc. will lay off 150 employees at its plant in Montrose, Colorado in April. The Denver Port reported that the company has informed the employees, the mayor of Montrose and the state of Colorado about the changes that will happen at the plant.

Qwest Communications International, Inc. has announced that it will lay off 90 employees in New Mexico when it closes its Albuquerque operator and information service headquarters on April 18th. Qwest is consolidating its operator and information services into fewer, but larger, offices. Qwest is New Mexico's largest service provider of land line phone service.

US Department of Energy national laboratories in Los Alamos and Sandia, New Mexico has announced that during the next ten years under an Energy Department plan they will see large reductions in their nuclear operations, building closures and a reduction of the nuclear weapons work force. At the Los Alamos lab, nuclear operations will be reduced by 50 percent and 20 percent of the lab's buildings will be closed. The number of employees at both the Los Alamos and Sandia labs be reduced by 20 percent over the next decade.

As part of a staff restructuring to reduce the chapter's budget, the Phoenix chapter of the American Red Cross announced that it has laid off 21 full-time employees and seven part-time employees. The layoffs are part of the chapter's effort to reduce its budget by $1.2 million. The director of the chapter cited the economy as a major reason people have been giving less to charities such as the Red Cross.

Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. of Denver, Colorado will lay off 100 workers due to rising jet fuel costs. The cost of jet fuel has risen 18 percent since October. The company announced that it will be cutting its indirect labor work force by 10 percent. The workers who will be laid off hold corporate jobs that are not directly related to flight operations.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the nation's premier nuclear weapons labs, is preparing to lay off hundreds of people because of anticipated federal budget cuts and other factors. The northern New Mexico lab, where the atomic bomb was born, will cut between 500 and 750 positions. About 12,000 people currently work at the weapons lab. The cuts are part of a restructuring plan the lab has submitted to the federal government.

Murray Energy Corp.'s subsidiary, UtahAmerican Energy, Inc. has announced the mass layoff of fifty-two coal miners. UtahAmerican officials said that the layoffs will impact 31 employees at its West Ridge mine, 11 at its Tower mine, five at the Crandall Canyon mine and five more at the Wildcat loading facility where coal is put on trains for delivery to customers.

For the second time in less than a year, Georgia-Pacific Corporation has laid off 300 workers after suspending operations at one of its two plywood mills in Crossett, Arizona. A spokesman for the Atlanta-based company said that the decision came after the company projected slow sales because of the weak housing market. The suspension of plant operations comes at a time when the nation's housing market is depressed and the plywood industry has struggled to compete with producers of oriented strand board, which is a similar product made from raw materials and costs a quarter of the price of plywood.

Public Service Company of New Mexico, the largest utility in the state, has announced that it will cut 15 percent of its work force over the course of the next year as part of a company-wide restructuring plan. The announcement was made in a memo to employees, saying it will immediately lay off 150 workers and another 350 people will be let go next year. Company officials said the job cuts are a result of the increasing costs of doing business and are pert of an effort to restructure the entire utility.

Software developer Novell, Inc. is laying off 200 people in Provo, Utah and moving many of the jobs to India as part of its reorganization to cut costs. Novell was founded in Provo in 1983 and still employs about 1,200 people there. It moved its headquarters to Waltham, Massachusetts in 2004. Novell, which develops and markets operating systems based on Linux, as well as security and management software, announced the restructuring effort last year. India has a large number of software engineers, and the U.S. software industry has been moving some operations there because of lower wages.

The Lindon, Utah-based SCO Group Inc. says it is planning to lay off 16 of its 123 employees and has asked a federal bankruptcy court to keep their identities secret because it fears harassment. SCO Group also is facing an effort to push ahead with a trial in federal court in Utah that could determine that SCO owes Novell as much as $35 million in licensing fees because of a ruling in a dispute over ownership of the Unix software program. SCO filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 14, the result of a long court battle with Novell and IBM over ownership and use of the Unix computer operating system program. SCO claimed it, and not Novell, owned the copyright to Unix and that IBM had used parts of that code in developing the Linux operating system, whose code is open to the public and can be used or altered by individuals or companies for their own uses.

First Magnus Financial Corporation shut down its Tucson, Arizona location and issued layoff notices to approximately 5,000 employees. First Magnus was a funder for Frost Mortgage in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Frost said it is still operating as usual. First Magnus retained about 160 employees to assist in liquidating the company's assets to pay unsecured creditors under bankruptcy protection that the company filed on August 21.

A combined 153 employees are slated for layoff between now and September 15 at two American Sandstone (Blaser Corp.) locations in Arizona. No other information about the layoff is available at this time.

Banking mogul Wells Fargo recently announced the layoff of 76 jobs as it closes a Colorado Springs customer service center that handles home-equity loans and lines of credit. The layoffs are correlated with the nationwide housing slump. A company spokeswoman says that more layoffs are expected although the number is unknown as of now. Wells Fargo currently employs 6,200 workers in Colorado.

Micron recently announced the layoff of 130 more workers by the end of this month. The Boise-based semiconductor manufacturing company has already laid off 982 Treasure Valley employees according to an amended letter to the Idaho Department of Labor. The company began laying off employees after a reported $225 million loss during its third fiscal quarter.

Rogers Corp.'s Chandler-based Durel Division recently laid off 200 of its 275 employees as it shifted its production to a newly constructed plant in Suzhou, China. The 19-year old division makes key pad back lights for cell phones such as the Motorola Razr and the growing number of hand-held computing devices.

Rogers Corp. recently announced the mass layoff of about 200 workers from the U.S. Durel facility in Chandler, Arizona. Rogers is a maker of specialty materials used in electronic and consumer products and is shifting its production to China amid lower demand. Rogers has about 2,500 employees worldwide.

TMC Healthcare recently laid off around 100 workers in Tucson, Arizona as the company announced a period of cost-cutting. The layoffs will save the company $6 million by the year's end and will account for the layoff of an additional 50 full-time equivalent vacant job positions. The layoffs were based on position and seniority and came in management and staff jobs including cooks, laundry workers, maintenance workers and laboratory and pharmacy workers. Laid-off workers received severance packages attributed to their length of employment.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage will lay off 191 employees on April 30 in Tempe, Arizona. No further information is available yet.

The Clearfield, Utah treadmill manufacturing facility run by Icon Health & Fitness will close in March. Icon will lay off 250 employees as part of its effort to increase manufacturing efficiency. The company is actually eliminating 450 positions at the Clearfield plant, but is adding 200 positions to its Logan, Utah plant.

One of the nation's largest meatpacking companies announced a layoff of 58 employees. Swift & Company headquartered in Greeley, Colorado issued a statement yesterday explaining the overhead cost reduction is part of a broad plan to enhance the company's competitiveness and boost profitability.

Homeland Security officials said 400 terminations occurred at one of six meat-processing plants targeted for immigration raids by Federal agents and operated by Swift & Co. Federal officials did not disclose which of the plants located in Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Texas and Utah terminated the 400 employees. Swift officials knew the raid was coming and tried unsuccessfully in a Texas court to block the raids with an injunction. The mass layoff likely impacted employees who did not have proper documentation on file in the human resources department of the processor based in Greeley, Colorado.

Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico will terminate up to 400 more jobs this year through attrition. Company executives do not want another mass layoff like the one earlier this year in which they announced lay off plans for up to 600 subcontracting workers. The National Security laboratory operates for the federal government and is showing a $176 million budget deficit for the upcoming year.

AOL finalized its mass layoff amount of 1300 employees down from 5000 previously announced in August. The layoff will occur on December 15 when AOL plans to offer the employees a severance package. Approximately 400 employees will lose their jobs in Tucson, Arizona and 900 employees will lose their jobs in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The closures of these two call centers will help the company meet its goal to decrease expenses by $1 billion.

The previously announced elimination of 350-550 contract worker positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory has not been implemented as the lab director continues to work out a plan to meet the $175 million budget shortfall. Many regular, full-time employees are worried their positions may be targeted for reduction also. Representative Tom Udall, D-NM demanded the company disclose exactly which positions will be cut since many of them may be high-paying and will have a significant impact on the Northern New Mexico economy.

80 Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Montana employees in Helena and Great Falls will lose their jobs early in 2007, when a federal agency switches its Medicare-claims-processing contract to a company that can process claims for a multi-state area.

The proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, Nevada has announced as many as 500 possible layoffs in September. The projected cuts represent about 25% of the workforce of the managing contractor Bechtel SAIC and its subcontractors on the project.


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