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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Obama Economy: Layoffs And Business Closings- November 17, 2012

By Susan Duclos

Additional layoffs and business closings will be listed as they are announced throughout the day. Below are reports found on November 17, 2012. (Updates which are added after original publishing at the top of categories with - New next to them)

Layoffs: November 17, 2012

 Illinois- Layoffs planned for doctor watchdogs - New

Investigators review the allegations from the public, law enforcement and other states of doctor sexual misconduct, alcoholism and malpractice. They build cases that can lead to fines and reprimands, and sometimes cause doctors to lose their licenses.

Department spokeswoman Susan Hofer said doubling the load on staffers would slow down investigations and prosecutions of doctor misconduct. The layoffs would reduce the medical investigations unit from 26 staffed positions to eight, a reduction of about 70 percent.

SIU Layoffs - New

 We can’t fault anyone for it, but word of more layoffs possibly coming at SIU Carbondale sure casts a cloud over the upcoming holiday season. It comes on the heels of a job-killing closure at the BRP boat manufacturing plant in Benton and region-wide sluggish economic conditions related to the not-so-distant national recession — which doesn’t seem as if it ever ended in Southern Illinois. For the possible SIU layoffs, the university recently sent a letter to the Non-Tenure Track Faculty Association, explaining employees may be cut before the spring semester begins in January because of budget shortfalls caused by declining enrollment — as well as potential state and federal funding cuts. Advance notices are mandated under the union’s contract with the university.

Layoffs at NBCUniversal Won't End Until 500 Employees Are Let Go  - New

 Insiders say those cuts -- along with other job losses at the Universal Pictures’ home entertainment unit, NBC, Syfy, Bravo, USA, Oxygen, E! and Style -- are part of an overall cost-cutting effort that won’t end until about 500 people have been trimmed from NBCU’s ranks of about 30,000 employees.

 Two More Obama Stimulus Backed  Solar Companies Announce Layoffs - New

SolarWorld received a credit worth $82 million, while SunTech’s was worth $2.1 million.

Both companies announced this week that they will shed some employees. SolarWorld, which announced a 47% revenue decline in the third quarter, blamed a potential 37 layoffs at its Oregon plant on “illegal” Chinese trade practices.

SunTech said the U.S. International Trade Commission’s 35.95% tariff on Chinese solar panels was partially responsible for the 50 impending layoffs at its Arizona production facilities.

Medical Giant Stryker, Owner An Obama Donor, Cuts 1,170 Jobs, Cites Obamacare

Medical supply giant Stryker is the latest company to announce job cuts in anticipation of coming costs associated with ObamaCare, even though the man who inherited a fortune from the company's founder is a fan.

The company will cut 1,170 jobs, or five percent of its worldwide workforce, despite the fact that the founder's grandson was one of the largest contributors to President Obama’s re-election campaign. Medical tech scion Jon Stryker, whose net worth is currently estimated at $1.2 billion, contributed $2 million to the Priorities USA Action super PAC and has given $66,000 in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party. Stryker does not run the company.

A "medical device excise tax" included in the mandate imposes a 2.3 percent levy on medical device manufacturers and suppliers, which critics say will raise prices on everything from pacemakers to prosthetics to stents. Companies will be required to pay the tax regardless if they have a profit or loss for the year. The tax is estimated to cost the medical device industry $20 billion.

House Republicans tried to have the tax repealed, drafting a bill called the Protect Medical Innovation Act, but the Democrat-controlled Senate has blocked the measure.


Executives for Stryker have placed the blame squarely on the coming tax ever since it gained more steam in Washington.

"Here we are, one of the greatest industries in the country, and we're staring down on Jan. 1, 2013 and the addition of a 2.3 percent excise tax, while meanwhile on the other side all the discussion in Washington is about creating jobs," Stryker President and CEO Stephen McMillian said during a national conference of medical device manufacturers in Washington, D.C. last September.

Coal Township, PA - Mountain View Lays Off Housekeeping and Laundry Employees

A relative of a worker who lost her job contacted The News-Item about the layoffs, which apparently were announced Thursday.

Bruce Kimball, administrator at Mountain View, was unavailable for comment Friday, but representatives at the Coal Township facility directed questions to Edward Bulliet, vice president of operations for Complete Healthcare Resources, which owns the facility.

"At this point, we do not have a comment. We will have a written statement going out to the press on Monday," he said.

CHR began operation of the manor in 2010 after purchasing it from Northumberland County, which had operated it for decades before citing financial difficulties in getting out of the health care business.

Medicaid funding cuts have been a major concern for nursing homes. In May, caregivers from Mountain View traveled to Harrisburg to meet with legislators and ask state leaders to restore proposed funding cuts. They said the cuts were the reason behind many nursing homes in Pennsylvania being forced to lay off workers.

Advanced Micro Devices Preparing For Another Round Of Layoffs

 Having recently laid off about 1,700 people — amounting to nearly 15 percent of its workforce — whispers around the offices at chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices are already focusing on another corporate reorganization that would probably include even more layoffs.

Multiple sources confirm to AllThingsD that senior managers are girding their teams for yet another shakeup, though they are saying that the number of jobs that will be eliminated this time around will be much smaller. Some employees are being quietly told by managers that they will lose their jobs in January, but are being kept around for the moment as insurance against the possibility of other key people quitting before then, one source told me.

Another source told me that it’s an open secret around the corridors of AMD’s offices in Sunnyvale, Calif., and Austin, Texas, that another round of job cuts are coming.

More on the initial round of layoffs here.

Montana's Decker coal mine to lay off 75 workers

Up To 75 employees of Montana's Decker Coal Mine will be laid off from the surface mine near the Wyoming border in mid-January, managers said Friday.


Coal was once the dominant fuel for electricity generation in the U.S. But domestic demand has been flagging over the past several years due to cheap natural gas, tighter rules on pollution from coal-burning power plants and an aggressive legal campaign against the industry by environmentalists. Coal companies see exports as a way to turn around that decline.

Grove Oklahoma Battery Plant To Lay Off 63 Workers

Xtreme Power said this week it will lay off 63 people at its Grove plant as it scales back production. Tje company notified employees Wednesday and Thursday that the job loss is immediate.

Officials with the plant referred calls to Greg Vistica, company spokesman, in Washington, D.C. He said that a drop in demand for the company’s lead-acid batteries prompted the layoffs.

Take Charge America Cuts Another 35 Workers, Brings Total To 118
Take Charge America, a Phoenix entity that provides counseling to debt-strapped consumers, laid off 35 workers this week after an executive shake-up that stems largely from a lingering battle with the Internal Revenue Service.

Take Charge America had laid off 83 people during the first quarter after the IRS revoked its non-profit status. The lawsuit with the IRS, in Washington, D.C., hasn't been resolved, though the case in late October was transferred to another judge.

Glu Mobile cuts staff in Kirkland and San Francisco offices, closes Sao Paulo office 

Mobile game developer and publisher Glu Mobile announced today that it has cut 25 percent of its staff from the Kirkland, Wash. office and five percent from the San Francisco office as well as shut down its Sao Paulo office to concentrate resources in Glu Mobile’s six other offices.

Glu Mobile president of studios Matt Ricchetti will also be changing roles and heading up its Kirkland, Wash. office (Griptonite Games). Glu Mobile said in its Q3 2012 earnings call that it will be holding total R&D investment steady between 2012 and 2013, so it can rebalance its R&D function worldwide. The changes are said to increase the company’s monetization oversight.

This isn’t the first time Glu has restructured. Back in Aug. 2011, Glu Mobile let go several key executives including vice president of marketing Michael Breslin, chief creative office Giancarlo Mori and Sarah Thompson, who ran its partnership program.

Lubbock Radisson to lay off 36 full-time employees

The Lubbock Radisson hotel will be laying off 36 full-time and part-time employees soon.

Radisson Lubbock manager Shana Statler said the layoffs are effective Nov. 25, then came back to say, “We are not ready to release that information yet. The general manager will release that information Monday.”

Business Closings: November 16, 2012

 H/t reader spin43, via comments- Red Mango Yogurt Closing in Davidson and Huntersville - New

After a year in business, the Red Mango frozen yogurt shop in Davidson Commons has shut its doors, citing high costs and disappointing sales. The local owners say they also won’t reopen a second shop off N.C. 73 in Huntersville that had closed for the winter.

The Davidson shop served its last customer on Saturday, then posted a sign saying “Sorry, Out of Business.”

Kroger Closing Two Raleigh North Carolina Stores, Follows Closing of Hannibal and Louisiana Stores


Kroger is closing its Raleigh grocery stores on New Bern Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in January.

The company said in a news release that the stores were losing money.

"Due to lowering financial returns, the difficult decision was made to close the locations in an effort to maintain the grocer's commitment to low prices and quality food products for customers across North Carolina," the release said. "Although Kroger has continued to use its resources to improve each location, both have been unprofitable for the company."

The two stores employ 196 people. The workforce is unionized, and some of the workers may find jobs at Kroger's remaining 14 locations in the Triangle, said Carl York, advertising and public relations manager for the company's mid-Atlantic region.

"There's a process they go through to see if we can get them placed in another store," he said.

Previous Kroger closings in October:

 Kroger Central Division leaders announced in a meeting Thursday morning that its stores in Hannibal and Louisiana will be closing. Both stores will close effective Saturday, October 27.

Family Owned Robinson’s Southtown Market in Susquehanna Count Closing After 37 Years, Blames Economy

However, in less than a week, it will be no more, Robinson’s is closing for good.

People who have been going to Robinson’s for years said this is awful for the community.

“It’s depressing, it’s like a death in the family,” said Adelia Swachamer of South Montrose.

“It’s so sad because this has been here forever, and you just expected it to be here forever,” said Shirley Warner, a customer.

Folks said they’ve been going to Robinson’s for nearly 40 years, and now that it’s closing, they said they’re not sure where they’ll go next.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do the senior citizens depended on this,” said Swackhamer.
Swachhamer said the nearest grocery store is good 15 miles away.

The owner, David Robinson said the tough economy is to blame.

“We’ve been here, family business we’ve been here for 37 and a half years and it’s just been really hard,” said David Robinson, the owner.

East Liverpool, Ohio Jewelry Store to Close "Victim To The Times"

After nearly 60 years in business, a mainstay business in downtown East Liverpool soon will be closing its doors for good.

James Locke Jewelers on East Fifth Street first opened in 1955.

But earlier this month, workers and the company's matriarch, Margaret Locke, decided it was time to call it quits. But not before holding a huge going-out-of-business sale.

The store's manager said the family-operated business simply fell victim to the times.

"When gasoline went high, people just stopped driving to downtowns," said Carolyn Walker, who has been an employee for 26 years. "I think part of it is the Internet. A lot of people work all day, they go home, they order what they want, it's delivered.

Quincy Illinois PCCW Teleservices facility to close by end of January

More layoffs are hitting the Tri-States as Quincy's PCCW Teleservices is shutting down.
Employees at the call center tell WGEM News they were informed today that all jobs will be eliminated within 60 days.

(Click here to read the letter delivered to employees.)

This comes after the facility started the year with more than 300 workers, according to a local manager.

The manager says staffing dropped to 160 earlier this month and now only 20 remain.
The facility, located at 1400 North 30th, will shut down for good by the end of January.

A number of other closings are a direct result and collateral damage of the Hostess Brands closing. The initial multiple reports of Hostess Outlets closing down around the country can be found HERE.

Obama's Economy pieces at this link.

Layoff Mania  pieces at the link.

Business Closings pieces at the link.