By Chris Kramer
Facing a crushing budget, Texas prison officials are thinking about laying off more than 1,000 workers. Probation and parole officers look to be hit the hardest.
On top of the layoffs, officials are considering closing three drug treatment facilities and reducing food for prisoners.
The Legislative Budget Board ordered the prisons cut $74.5 million in costs.
Alternative to the layoffs may include sending some of the estimated 12,000 foreign born prisons back to their countries of origin.
Jobs have been cut and benefits reduced at the Austin Museum of Art in Austin, Texas. These actions are in response to a 10% budget cut. Additionally, all senior staff members have experienced a 10% pay cut, each employee must take a week furlough, and 401(k) matching has been discontinued. The museum is Austin's most prominent community art museum since its establishment in 1961.
On Tuesday, May 19, airplane manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft announced to employees it would make cuts on Friday. It remains undetermined which branch locations will be affected, and fewer than 150 employees will actually lose their jobs. About 900 people work in the Hawker Beechcraft completion center in Little Rock, Arkansas. In February, the company announced that 2,300 employees will be laid off by the end of the year. A spokesman for the company reminds that Hawker Beechcraft is not immune to the economy's downturn and its damaging effects on the business aviation industry.
Crusader Energy Group Inc. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma has eliminated 34 percent of its staff, including its CFO and COO, according to the Journal Record. CFO John Heinen and COO Paul Legg had planned to retire during the fiscal year 2009, but both men voluntarily resigned as part of the effort to reduce the company’s workforce.
Sandvik Mining and Construction USA will close its plant in Mansfield, Texas in October and lay off all 90 employees in three phases. The layoffs will begin in May. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported the downturn in construction and mining has reduced demand for the high precision hammers and drill bits the plant manufactures.
The Houston Chronicle has begun laying off approximately 12 percent of its employees in an effort to cut costs. The workers who are laid off will receive two weeks pay for each year of service, up to one years’ pay and will be offered outplacement services, according to the Associated Press.
On October 29, 2008, Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company based in Fort Worth, Texas, announced that it will lay off approximately 500 workers. This Fort Worth Business Press reported that this mass layoff represents about 4 percent of the Bell work force and will trim management-level staff by 20 percent.
The layoffs are a result of the Department of Defense's recent termination of the ARH-70A helicopter development contract. Employees affected by the layoff will receive 60 days of pay and benefits, in accordance with government regulations. They will also receive severance pay in accordance with the company's policies.
Each worker who is laid off can also get assistance through an outplacement firm and the Texas Workforce Commission.
Dallas Independent School District will lay off a total of nearly 1,100 employees under an approved layoff plan. These layoffs include approximately 550 teachers, 440 of which are in core teaching areas such as Math, Science, Social Studies, and English and Language Arts.
The Dallas Morning News reported that in addition to the teachers, 500 teacher aides, hall monitors and clerks will also be let go. The district is attempting to curtail spending while still trying to keep educational reforms that have boosted achievements intact.
The layoff plan was approved after disclosure of an expected $84 million budget deficit, threats of intervention by the state and the community demanding the resignation of Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. Some district employees have already been laid off, while others will remain on the payroll until mid-January.
Pilgrim's Pride Corp. will consolidate its tray-pack chicken business from its El Dorado, Arkansas processing plant into six other case-ready facilities, resulting in the layoff of approximately 600 workers in El Dorado. The layoffs will occur by September 19 and will mostly affect hourly workers, according to a report by Marketwatch. The company says that they do not expect any material financial changes as a result of the changes.
Toyota Motor Corp. has notified 200 temporary workers at its full-size truck plant in San Antonio, Texas that they will be laid off this summer, according to a report by the Associated Press. Toyota plans to slow production of Tundra trucks and has scheduled 14 days between now and October when no trucks will be made.
Employees will be allowed to take those days off without pay or report to work for non-manufacturing duties. The company hopes that the plant will not have to close, but the 200 temporary workers who had hoped to be placed in permanent positions will have to find work elsewhere. None of the 2,000 permanent employees at the San Antonio plant will be laid off.
The Black & Decker Corp. has announced that it will lay off 700 workers and close a plant and office in Decatur, Arkansas because of poor first-quarter earnings due to the housing slump and sub-prime mortgage crisis. The Baltimore Sun reported that the manufacturer of power tools and hardware has suffered a 38 percent decrease in earnings and expected a continued decline.
The company has attempted to ride out the housing market crisis by offsetting poor U.S. sales with growth in Asia, Europe and Latin America, but that was not enough to help earnings for the three month period ending on March 31, 2008. The company has begun sending out notices to the 700 workers who will be cut. Black & Decker will lay off 450 plant workers and 250 administrative workers by the end of the second quarter.
Saint-Gobain Vetrotex America Inc. will cease operations on June 2, closing its main plant in Wichita Falls, Texas and laying off 742 workers, according to the Dallas Business Journal. The fiberglass reinforcements' manufacturer plans to permanently close all of its facilities, including the plant and warehousing facilities, and will cease all sales and marketing activities. The company has said that it will provide severance packages and provide job search and interview training for the employees who will be out of work.
Capital One Financial Corp. will lay off 163 employees in New Orleans in order to improve efficiency and trim operating costs. People in support staff positions in many departments will be laid off. Capital One will begin these Louisiana layoffs in May and continue through 2009 according to an Associated Press news report. These layoffs are not said to be a result of the nationwide subprime mortgage crisis.
Owens Corning has announced plans to shut its manufacturing plant in New Braunfels, Texas and lay off 120 employees. The plant manufactures Glass fiber reinforcements and woven fabrics used in marine, military and industrial applications, according to a report by the San Antonio Express-News. Most of those operations will be shifted to other facilities that the company has recently acquired in Maine and Kansas.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the Medical Center in Lancaster, Texas is closing. The Medical Center was the only hospital in Lancaster and has operated for 25 years. Approximately 350 employees were laid off from the 90-bed facility. The hospital had around 100 affiliated physicians.
Conway Public Schools in Conway, Arkansas will lay off approximately 60 people, half of which will be certified employees, most of who are teachers, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The other thirty people who will lose their jobs in the school district are secretaries, janitors and bus drivers. The job cuts are a result of past deficit spending.
The Associated Press has reported that Lockheed Martin Corporation will have mass layoffs at their Fort Worth, Texas site this year. Lockheed will lay off 250 workers in April and eliminate another 600 jobs during the rest of the year. The layoffs are a result of the defense contractor completing its engineering work on the new F-35 fighter jet program. Lockheed officials say that the layoffs are a necessary part of a transition into the production stages of its F-35 Lightning II program. The Lockheed site at Fort Worth currently employs approximately 14,500 people.
AMR Corporation and its American Airlines Inc. unit will lay off between two and three percent of its management personnel by the end of the year. They will also cut 100 to 200 jobs. The layoffs are part of the company's efforts to continue cutting its costs.
Blockbuster Inc. has laid off 145 corporate employees, most of them at its Dallas, Texas headquarters. The job cuts were across the movie-rental company in areas such as accounting, marketing and real estate. The move leaves the chain with about 1,100 corporate employees in Dallas.
Christus Health in Southeast Texas is cutting 75 positions at Port Arthur's St. Mary hospital and 25 employees at Beaumont's St. Elizabeth hospital. Christus is one of the largest employers in the area but a spokesperson for the Southeast Texas Workforce Development Board doesn't expect a negative impact on the labor market. The Board indicated there would be job openings in the petrochemical industry plus other plants had expansion plans in the region totaling $15 billion.
Wachovia bank recently announced the layoff of 42 employees at the old World Savings operation center in West San Antonio. The layoffs are attributed to the deteriorating conditions in the nation's housing market. The laid off employees were call center representatives who serviced the mortgage loan portfolio of World Savings, an extension of a company Wachovia acquired last year. Wachovia is also closing a 50-person call center in College Station that services mortgage lending. The company's operation center employs about 3,500 workers and had been growing until the layoffs were announced.
Champion Parts Incorporated located in Hope, Arkansas announced a layoff of 137 employees resulting in a 42% workforce reduction. Orders decreased in the last few weeks for the re-manufacturer of auto and marine parts. Already, at least 13 employees began their pursuit for a new career by attending a displaced worker meeting at the University of Arkansas Community College.
Encysive Pharmaceuticals Inc. recently announced the layoff of 150 employees, including its 50 person sales force. The layoffs are attributed to the refusal of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the drug Thelin. It was the third time the FDA had turned the drug down. The FDA approved a similar drug called Letairis made by competitor Gilead Sciences Inc. on the same day it denied Thelin. Encysive is providing cash severance payments to employees directly affected by the layoffs.
The Navistar International Corporation recently announced the mass layoff of up to 500 workers from its bus assembly plant in Conway. The layoffs are being conducted in relation to a declining demand on account of increasingly more stringent emission standards on new vehicles. A company spokesman said that it is not known exactly how many of the plant's 1,240 workers will lose their jobs.
The Dallas School District recently announced the mass layoff of 150 central office positions for the next school year. The layoffs are part of an aggressive reform plan by DISD engineered to win recognition as the best urban district in the country by 2010. The layoffs could possibly save the district at least $10 million, which according to the Superintendent, will be funneled back into classrooms. The layoffs, and other various changes, are expected to increase student achievement.
The Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. recently announced its plans to lay off 150 workers at its plant in Texarkana, Arkansas. The layoffs are part of Cooper's efforts to convert the facility to a "flex plant" format. A Cooper official said that the company is reducing production at the factory. The plant currently employs 1,700 people and has the capacity to produce more than 27,800 passenger tires and 9,300 light truck tires per day.
A mass layoff of 233 employees will take place at Texas Instruments (TI) by the end of the year. The layoffs are scheduled to begin April 3 and be completed by December 28 for employees at the Dallas Texas location. Specifically, the positions slated for elimination are in the Silicon Technology Development and Foundry Engineering unit. The company has decided to stop producing advanced digital process technology since demand decreased in the fourth quarter of 2006.
Forty percent of the jobs at the Franklin Electric Company manufacturing plant in Siloam Springs, Arkansas will be cut by mid-year. The mass layoff affecting 200 employees comes as the company moves part of submersible motor production to a plant in Linares, Mexico. Franklin built the plant three years ago to develop a low cost base for its business model.
Dallas personal injury law firm Baron & Budd PC issued layoff notices to 100 support staff members, 13 attorneys and 6 shareholders. As Texas laws have changed in recent years, it has become more difficult to sue companies. The result is that this law firm's case volume dropped dramatically. The number of asbestos cases decreased from 15,000 per year to less than 1,000.
Starting this summer, Elcom will lay off 250 workers from its El Paso plant. The company is closing the 18 year-old plastics molding plant and will move operations to Mexico in order to be more competitive. Lorenzo Reyer, CEO of El Paso's public employment agency expects the laid off workers to have trouble finding similar replacement jobs in El Paso.
Houston Town & Country Hospital closed its doors and laid off 298 employees. Thirty employees will remain on board only until March 10 in order to close down operations. Memorial Hermann Healthcare System agreed to purchase the land and buildings but did not purchase the operations.
Thermostat-maker, White-Rodgers will lay off 150 employees as it scales back production at its Batesville, Arkansas facility. The company already laid off 80 workers just before Christmas. The company plans to transfer several product lines to plants in Mexico in order to deal with competitive pressures.
Harcourt Assessment based in San Antonio, Texas announced it will terminate 122 employees as "part of an ongoing effort to streamline processes and improve overall operations." The standardized testing unit of Harcourt Education doesn't anticipate further layoffs from the rest of the 1,200 employees on staff.
ATM machine producer NCR Corporation will cut 100 jobs at the Dallas plant as part of a world-wide layoff impacting 1,200 employees. The Dallas plant will continue to operate the engineering and advanced-product work divisions while the production work will be transferred to an outside manufacturer.
High-performance applications network developer, Tekelec, fired 104 employees in its Plano, Texas switching location during the third quarter. Tekelec also chose not to replace 22 employees that voluntarily resigned and also terminated 25 contractors. The company expects these personnel changes will decrease expenses by at least $17 million in 2007.
Oklahoma layoffs at the Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire plant will occur two months earlier than originally planned. Bridgestone announced earlier this year that it would close its Oklahoma City plant and layoff all 416 positions. The company announced last week that employees could expect layoff notices effective October 28, 2006.
IBM will cut almost 400 jobs within the next month due to a realignment of the hardware development division. The affected employees are given the opportunity to look for other positions within the company. 100 of the employees slated for layoff are currently located in Austin, Texas. The realignment will also involve 99 employees in New York and 74 employees in Minnesota. The remaining employees affected reside in 15 other locations.
RadioShack laid off 400 employees from its Fort Worth, Texas headquarters during the last week of August-by email.
More than 140 of the remaining 730 New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) employees were terminated on August 25. The RTA employed 1,357 people before the hurricanes that devastated the area in 2005, and lost approximately 600 workers who relocated because their homes were flooded or voluntarily resigned or retired. An additional 80 employees may face job elimination by November 30.
Belo Corp. announced on August 10 that it planned to cut 85 positions, making it the latest in a string of media cuts that included a July announcement that Tribune Co. would be eliminating 120 positions at the Chicago Tribune and New York Times Co. notification that the company would cut 250 jobs in its printing operation.
Whirlpool Corp. had previously announced plans to lay off 730 employees at its Fort Smith, Arkansas plant on September 1. The company has now announced the elimination of an additional 220 jobs, designed to "better match production to consumer demand". The total planned layoffs now account for approximately 25% of the plant's current employees.
Whirlpool is moving up the layoffs previously reported at its Fort Smith facility. The 730 employees who were scheduled to be laid off in October will be laid off as of September 1.
The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) eliminated 17 human resources positions last week, beginning an anticipated layoff of 1,000 employees. UTMB anticipates announcing additional layoffs on Mondays between now and early August, as individual departments are assessed for possible cuts. The total layoffs are expected to impact about 8% of UTMB's workforce.
The National Center for the Employment of the Disabled (NCED) announced further layoffs at the end of June. The El Paso company had previously announced elimination of 1200 jobs, and says that these latest cuts were included in those projections.
NCsoft Austin has eliminated 70 of its 300 employees in what it describes as "a natural cycle of ramping down" after expansions last year.
Superior Industries International, Inc. announced early in June that it would lay off 225 employees at its Fayetteville, Arkansas chrome plating facility.
The Jacksonville economy will take a second hit when AOL closes its call center. AOL will also reduce staff at its Tucson, Arizona and Ogden, Utah call centers, for a total of 1,300 layoffs-this in addition to the 700 jobs already eliminated when the company closed its Orlando, Florida call center late last year.