Career and Money Advice At The Intersection Of Business And Technology

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Reader reported layoffs

November 11th, 2009 · No Comments

Blue Cross of Minnesota:

“About 1 month after 100 were laid off in the Membership and Billing IT area, 90 were given their pink slips in the Claims IT area.   Blue Cross has decided to outsource the work to Cognizant and IBM who will offshore the work to India. The layoffs took place in the Twin City area.”

Hallmark Cards of Kansas City:

“There has been about 1,000 + layoffs in the past year at Hallmark cards.

They have always been very quiet about layoffs. Their business has been drastically affected by the economy and sales are plummeting.

To protect what little profits they have (for the big guys), they consistently go after the senior workers with bigger benefits/vacation time/bigger salaries.

But they do it so other workers don’t notice so much. About 4-5 yrs. ago, they radically changed all their HR policy: No more seniority, except in manufacturing type jobs. Now they will hire and fire based on ‘performance’, and qualities determined by whatever the current management deems desirable.

Also, you can’t sue them if you accept a severance agreement, or so they claim. Then, they did a bunch of layoffs about 2-3  years ago, mostly older people too.

They got a LOT of bad press locally, in the paper called the ‘Pitch’. So they have changed tactics now. Like, offering 2 weeks of pay per year of service, but eliminating your position.

Since the beginning of the year, they’ve moved slowly around the co. laying off small groups of individuals, 10-20-30 at a time.

What gets me is, they also changed their benefits to phase out their old "retirement" plan called "cash balance", which they matched & added a certain amount each year based on your salary. These were very modest accts., because, they said, your profit-sharing was really your main ‘retirement"

(even though profit sharing has been very puny the whole time I was there). And to me, it seems, the older folks, who had ‘cash balance" retirement accts., are the ones they are going after! Also, anyone who has had a lot of medical claims or time off.”

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