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Friday, November 16, 2012

The Obama Economy: Layoff And Business Closings- November 16, 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 16, 2012.

Layoffs: November 16, 2012

Unions notified of Wilkes-Barre job cuts

Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton has decided on the number of job cuts he says are necessary to combat a budget shortfall, according to a city spokesman.

"The administration has identified employee cuts across all four bargaining units. We have notified the respective union leaders of the cuts. We are hopeful that reconsideration of concessions by the unions is an option to reduce the cuts that have been determined," said Drew McLaughlin, city spokesman.

The specific number of cuts was not released.

Officials said the city is facing an estimated $2 million budget deficit, caused by an outstanding payment in taxes by former collector Centax and an overall shortfall in projected revenue amid the bleak economy.

Also, related to the Wilkes-Barre problems,  Standard & Poor's Rating Services downgraded their rating from A to A-

Hostess To Layoff 18,500 Workers

Hostess Brands, the bankrupt maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, said it had sought court permission to go out of business after failing to get wage and benefit cuts from thousands of its striking bakery workers.

Hostess said a national strike by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union that began last week had crippled its ability to produce and deliver products at several facilities.

The liquidation of the company will mean that most of its 18,500 employees will lose their jobs, Hostess said on Friday. 

The 82-year-old company said it took the decision to shut down after determining that not enough employees had returned to work by a deadline on Thursday.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January for the second time since 2004, said it had filed a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, N.Y., for permission to shut down and sell assets. 

Irving, Texas-based Hostess has 565 distribution centers and 570 bakery outlet stores, as well as the 33 bakeries. Its brands include Wonder, Nature's Pride, Dolly Madison, Drake's, Butternut, Home Pride, and Merita, but it is probably best known for Twinkies — basically a cream-filled sponge cake.
More about Hostess INC at PR Newswire.

Wausau Paper announces 55 layoffs in Brainerd, MN.

 Nearly eight years to the day after Wausau Paper began production at the Brainerd mill, it announced the end of its print paper production here — meaning layoffs for 48 hourly and seven salary employees. The mill currently employs 137 hourly staff and 34 salary workers.

Galloway Township, NJ Workers Face Layoff Notices Today

Galloway Township employees are once again bracing for layoff notices.

Back in September, all 140 township employees received notices that informed them that they could be laid off January first.  Those who received the notices included the entire police force.
At the time employees were told that they would be notified by Friday, November 16th, of any decisions regarding layoffs.

Galloway Township faces a $3 million budget shortfall in part because of tax appeals, a problem made worse by many foreclosures within the township.

Lawrence and Memorial Hospital Lays Off 22 Employees in CT

Lawrence & Memorial Hospital has announced that it is laying off 22 full-time and part-time employees as part of its effort to close a $3.2 million budget gap.

Hospital spokesman Michael O’Farrell said the shortfall was part of the latest fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1. O’Farrell said the hospital attempts to close each year with a three percent profit margin in order to invest in new equipment and other upgrades. The Board of Directors instructed the hospital to take steps to close the budget gap before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2013.

First Round Of Layoffs Hit 'Variety"

Less than a month after PMC purchased the Hollywood trade paper Variety, the first round of layoffs hit Thursday, with 20 to 25 people losing their jobs.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reported that Variety soon will reduce the frequency of its print publications. Daily Variety publishes Monday through Friday, while weekly Variety comes out on Fridays.

None of the Variety editorial staff was impacted by this round of layoffs, but there were veteran staff members let go in the areas of conferences, administration, systems and circulation and at sister brand LA411/NY411.

A source at Variety said that as of late afternoon Thursday, it was still not clear who was being laid off, and in some cases people had not yet been notified.

Layoffs loom for 9 employees in St. Luke's cuts, 40 positions cut- NY

St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital announced Thursday that it will trim about 40 positions to help offset a projected operating loss.

Only nine employees — less than 1 percent of the total workforce — actually will be laid off, the hospital said. The other positions are currently vacant.

The hospital is projecting a $5.3 million operating loss this year.

In announcing the staffing reductions, president and CEO Allan Atzrott cited several examples of declining revenue and rising costs.

Like all hospitals, he said, St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital has seen significant reductions in both federal and state reimbursement for services.

Closings: November 16, 2012

Airship Ventures Closing Operations

Airship Ventures, which has offered Zeppelin flights out of Moffett Field, said Thursday that it was closing its operations and was planning to refund customers who already booked flights.

The Palo Alto Daily News reports the company faced challenges including the recession in its business. Airship Ventures was launched in 2007.

Merillat to close its two Atkins VA plants- Nearly 300 Workers Affected

Nearly 300 employees will soon be added to Smyth County’s jobless rolls when Merillat closes its two plants in Atkins in January.

Jonathan Klinger, vice president of marketing, confirmed this afternoon that two members of the Masco Company management team visited the Merillat plants today to announce the planned closure.

“The business has been impacted by the downtown in the economy,” Klinger said as the reason for closing the plants. “The primary reason,” he added, “is to increase the efficiency of manufacturing.”

The closure will impact 261 hourly employees and 19 salaried employees at the two plants. Klinger said manufacturing work will be moved to plants in Mt. Jackson, Va., and Sayre, Pa.

10 L.A. County courthouses to close

Los Angeles County court officials announced sweeping cuts in the judicial system Wednesday, including the closure of all courtrooms in 10 regional courthouses.

The cuts are expected to delay some trials, cause longer lines and result in more layoffs, but officials said it was the only option for closing a shortfall of $50 million to $80 million in the court budget.
Courtrooms will be shuttered in such landmark courthouses as Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Malibu, Avalon, Huntington Park, Whittier, Pomona and San Pedro.


It's unclear how many court workers will lose their jobs. The Los Angeles County courts have already laid off hundreds of employees and left more positions unfilled, resulting in longer lines to file paperwork and cases that plod along at a snail's pace.

Jefferson Co. town's lone gas station closing- Ohio 

It's the only gas station in town, but by the end of the month, drivers in Brilliant will have to find a new place to fill up.

A manager of the Marathon Gas Station said it was like a rug being pulled out from under her when she found out that the store was closing after serving the village for almost 30 years. 

Kutcha's Party Store in Jackson closing after more than 40 years in business- MI 

After more than 40 years in business, a well-known, family-operated party store on Jackson’s east side will close its doors soon.

Staff at Kutcha’s Party Store, 912 E. Ganson St., has already started reducing prices and liquidating inventory for the store’s eventual closure.

There is no set date at this point, said co-owner Dawn Kutcha, who also runs Kutcha’s Party Rental with husband, Tom.

“The party store itself has been hit pretty hard by the economy … especially with the dollar stores coming in and the gas stations and convenience stores,” Dawn Kutcha said.

Bankruptcy: November 16, 2012

Etowah Country Club files for bankruptcy in rough economy

Etowah Valley Country Club and Golf Lodge, family owned since 1967, was forced to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a fight to save the business from the blows of the recession and lackluster economic recovery.

Helicos BioSciences Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Obama's Economy pieces at this link.

Layoff Mania  pieces at the link.

Business Closings pieces at the link.