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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It’s just another manic Monday

Mondays already had a bad reputation amongst American workers, but Jan. 26 was a particularly bad day to be an employee. Several well-known companies, mostly American, announced thousands of layoffs:

Caterpillar 5,000
Pfizer 8,000
Sprint Nextel 8,000
Home Depot 7,000
General Motors 2,000
ING Group 7,000
Phillips Electronics 6,000
Monday's Total 43,000

The Caterpillar situation is even more dire than the 5,000 layoffs listed above. The company also has shed about 14,500 other jobs in recent months, according to an article. The Caterpillar layoffs may also hold a bit more significance here locally, bringing back memories of the towmotor plant that once existed in Mentor.

Also, part of the Home Depot announcement was that the company would close all its EXPO Design Centers, which already happened here in Northeast Ohio when the store at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst closed in 2005.

On top of the layoffs listed above, one could add several thousand more layoffs announced by other companies in the past few weeks.

Microsoft 5,000
Intel 6,000
United Airlines 1,000
Harley-Davidson 1,100
Texas Instruments 3,400
Motorola 4,000
ConocoPhillips 1,300
WellPoint 1,500
Hertz Global 4,000
Additional total 27,300

That brings the grand total to over 70,000 announced layoffs. Toss in the 30,000 jobs expected to be lost nationwide as Circuit City liquidates its remaining stores, and there are a cool 100,000 jobs on the chopping block.

Some of these retail jobs will undoubtedly hit home here in Northeast Ohio, as will the store closing announced last week by Brooklyn-based American Greetings. Also, 800 of those GM layoffs will occur at the company's Lordstown plant.

Government can't provide all the solutions, but you can bet that all these layoffs will be fresh in everyone’s mind as they listen to Gov. Ted Strickland deliver the State of the State address at noon on Wednesday. Ohioans will be very interested in what the Democratic governor intends to do to bring more business and more jobs to the Buckeye State.

-- Michael C. Butz


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