The Downsizing and Demoralizing of the American Work Force

by David R. Kaspersin
October, 1994

The vice president of the company I worked for told 100 of us at a department meeting " All of you who are over 50 years old are worthless to the company because you cannot accept and adapt to change, and therefore I strongly suggest that all of you accept the early retirement that we are offering as you probably will not have a job in six months." Sound familiar ? It's being played out all over America every day. And at this company, as at many companies, it worked. In October 1994 over 600 hundred of the most skilled, best trained, and most experienced employees got out while they could. We were lucky, we at least got something for all our years of hard work and loyalty, (even though what we got is not enough to live on).

And what about the people who are left behind to work twice as hard, often at the same salary. Ask anyone who is still working for a downsized firm, their morale has never been so low. Many fellow employees are cutting each others throats, because they are so afraid of losing there jobs. The American worker is terrified to speak his true mind, because he or she may be the next one to be shown the door.

The corporate heads of almost every company in what used to be this great United States of America are playing this game. Some probably really do need to, however I believe the majority of them are taking advantage of their employees to make the bottom line look good. Keep the stockholders and the board happy, and get my big bonus. Get rid of the older, higher priced help, and replace them with younger people who out of need will work for a lot less money, and a lot less benefits. Some of these corporate creeps even hire back the people they laid off at less pay, and little or no benefits.

BUT, what are the corporate heads of these companies really doing? Our country is in serious financial trouble. and it's getting worse by the second. And one does not have to be a financial wizard to see why. The workers of America have lost the ability to buy. if we do not pay our people a decent wage they simply do not have enough money to buy, and when people stop buying the whole economy suffers. One of the reasons people work is so they can obtain nice things for themselves and their families. after a long hard day it is nice to relax and enjoy the things you have worked so hard to get. But how many of us have the money, time, or strength left to live the way we want to. People making less money pay less taxes. People making no money pay no taxes, and have to be supported. The very rich pay little or no taxes. The corporate heads of america are strangling themselves and all of us, and our government is helping them to do it. If corporate america doesn't smarten up this country is financially doomed! and it may already be too late.

Dave Kaspersin and his wife Jackie are the owners of Dynamic Recording in Rochester, a business that prides itself on being on the cutting edge of technology, and who have just launched two new businesses on the World Wide Web even though he is 53 now and totally out of touch with what is going on in the world, and cannot adapt to change. He is also a consultant for ABB Corporation, who hired him because of his technical skills shortly after he left his job of 26 years with Rochester Gas and Electric. He can be reached at: on the Web or email

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.

Proposed 28th Amendment

Updated 09/2012
A women wrote this to me:

"A friend of mine got demoted and downsized to the tune of over 10k a year. 
I lost my Job job in March. You published the original article in 1994 and 
we are midway thru 2012 twelve and it is more pronounced and deeper than we
could have ever imagined. The corruption and greed continues and the masses 
of unemployed continue to climb. Please post an update to you article with 
current govt. policy changes. I believe if folks see this in wide disribution
it may have an effect on the upcoming election.

All true and I couldn't have said it better.

But I will add:
All of CON GRESS has to go!!!
More here:
Middle Class Blues !

Updated - 05/01/2008

When I wrote the above article fourteen years ago (WOW)
it was very true and still is today, except for one important

We are not needed by the Corporations of America any longer!
That's correct, you and I (The Middle Class) are expendable!
And there are many reasons that can be brought forth, but
mainly the American worker has become too costly to keep on
and why bother when there are so many people willing to work for 
a lot less in India, China, Mexico, etc.
I strongly believe the upper two percent Rich Class are trying
to systematically eliminate all of the Middle Class and POOR!

Our Economy is really suffering. Yours and mine, not The Upper Two Percent Rich Class (UTPRC)


NAFTRA  ?(remember Ross Perrot and the huge sucking sound of American jobs leaving? Ross was correct!)

Katrina ? The States affected are still not repaired and back to normal.

Unemployment, The Housing crisis, Oil Prices, Energy,  etc, etc, etc.

Afghanistan and Iraq ? The real reason we are there is to control the amount of oil
produced. Keep production DOWN so Oil prices will go why high. Think about it.
Gasoline, natural gas, electricity, and now food are out of sight
and the UTPRC are making windfall profits, while we suffer.

I can list many many more examples, and so can all of you.

So what is causing all of the problems for the Middle Class.


The Upper Two Percent Rich Class (UTPRC) OWN CONGRESS!
Indeed many members of Congress are part of the UTPRC!
So Congress is not going to help you or me.
Electing new officials or a new President will not change
anything for the Middle Class. We have to completely clean out both
HOUSES and start over with new rules that stop the fleecing
of the Middle Class. (Can you say SHEEPLE!)

Some new rules:

Anyone making over $XXX,XXX.00 or worth more then $XXX,XXX can not run for any office.
No contributions to people running for election. NONE!
No gifts to people running for election. OF ANY KIND!
No More then two terms FOR ANY OFFICE.
No retirement.
No lobbyists!
And Most Important:
Before anyone can run for any office they have to pass a strict INTELLIGENCE test !!! 
(A Test that includes a knowledge of business, economics, world history, etc, etc, etc.)
NO electronic voting machines.

Update 08/03
This is an excerpt from an article by 
Mortimer B. Zuckerman Editor-in-Chief
Us News  

"Continued cost cutting by companies dubious that a recovery is 
just around the corner suggests the pessimists are. 
More than 3.8 million people now draw unemployment 
benefits, the highest in 20 years. The number looking 
for jobs has passed 9 million for the first time in 10 years. 
The unemployment rate has climbed to a nine-year high of 6.4 percent. 
The economy has lost over 300,000 jobs this year, and unemployment 
claims are still up around 425,000 a week. Since productivity gains 
are clearly exceeding the rate of growth, companies can go on cutting 
payroll while still meeting demand. If this continues, the rate of 
growth in disposable income will slow, consumption weaknesses will 
accelerate, and investment will be discouraged even more." 

"So the toughest question for the optimists is, Why should the economy 
come roaring back? Not much faith can be placed in the fiscal stimulus 
proposed and passed by the Bush administration since it is directed 
much more to stimulating investment spending and benefiting the wealthy.
Given the excess capacity we clearly still have and given that the 
tax benefits will not incite adequate consumer demand, we may well 
be in for another unpleasant surprise--a slow economy throughout 
the rest of this year, much like what we have seen over the past two years." 

Latest Updates on Downsizing 11/12/99

Many people have written to me about the above article. So far every one has agreed with me, and I have heard a lot of very moving stories. Three of my former coworkers have died from heart attacks in the last year. The last one was a good friend who died last week. He was being pressured to retire! Dave Kaspersin

Below are some of the emails I have received. I have removed or changed the names as many of these people are still in danger of loseing their jobs I have also removed anything from the letters that might indntify them(unless I have been asked to leave them in) . Isn't it sad the way we have to protect ourselves today ?

Dave:  I would like to get a full copy of your article for use in a
"mini-thesis" that covers what employers should be doing for those that
survive the downsizing.

A little background:  I've been downsized twice (I don't count the
lawyer who wanted to hire his wife instead of me....) and I can't figure
out which is more "humane".  Downsizing #1 took place the week I closed
on my house and about 110 of us were escorted out by security guards
(hi-tech firm that was extremely paranoid).  The second was a job that I
truly loved but the manager/president/demi-god decided that what we had
in our town (which shall be nameless) was too far out of his control -
even though it was the profit center for the parent corp.  If it wasn't
under his thumb, it wasn't good enough.  So he arranged for 24 of us to
be let go - staggering our departures over several months - and is now
admitting that he did a dumb thing.  I know people who are still there
that claim it's like walking into a mortuary because the (brand-new!!!)
building is 2/3 empty.  If it wasn't that they were still manufacturing
at that facility, they'd be moving the rest of it because he's an
egocentric @##$$%%.  ( bugs me)  So now I have a job where the
commute is roughly 5 times the travel time (I was very close to home)
and it's a job that I'm not entirely sure will be my career for the
remainder of my working life, although the pay is better (closer to a
major metro area).  I am female, in my early 40's and will graduate this
year with my MA in Leadership Studies.  Lest you think it's a Liberal
Arts "foo-foo" degree, the program consists of coursework on
teambuilding and leading/managing organizational change, psychology of
motivation and study of leadership theory (which has been a revelation
in itself).

Anyhow, the "mini-thesis" I want to do deals with those folks left
behind.  Some days, I'm not sure that those of us who were let go are
not the luckier ones.  Any insight or info you can provide will
certainly be appreciated.

Please don't use my name or identifiers if you use this on your site.

Top of the day to you Dave................. 
My name is Bruce Peterson from Newaygo, MI.. 
I am 53 years old and have been downsized 3 times 
in the last 6 years. I found your paper 
"The Downsizing and Demoralizing of the American Workforce" 
on the web because I am doing a presentation 
on downsizing for the Organizational Dynamics class
 that I am in. This class is part of a accelerated 
program so that at the end of 5 quarters I will have 
my bachelor degree in business leadership.
 When this program is completed, I will be enrolling 
into a Masters program. The Masters program will 
be the only way that I will be able to get any type 
of employment that may allow me to have a 
some what gentle retirement before I die!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Down sizing has afforded me this education 
through the NAFTA program and has been 
about the only positive thing that has touched 
my life in the last 6 years. Well, not totally complete. 
I have had the time to rediscover myself and the 
world around me and for that I am deeply grateful. 
My relationship to God has benefited greatly also. 
Your paper wraps up my entire presentation in 
great fashion. I just wanted to drop you a line to 
express my appreciation to you for posting it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Thanks again and good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Bruce, Thank you for your nice comments. its good that you are taking so many positive steps. I am 56 now and believe me I am far from feeling "old and worthless" ) May I add you letter to my Downsizing page ? Dave Kaspersin

Dave, I know that I am not "old and worthless" just mature and functional!!!!!!!!!!!! Please add it and place the mature and functional at the end............. Bruce Peterson

Hi, David, Nice piece of writing! I've just finished reading "The Global Trap: Globalization & the Assault on Democracy & Prosperity" by Hans-Peter Martin and Harald Schumann (Montral: Black Rose Books, 1997), which seems to explain a lot of the things you talk about. I've lost my own job, teaching at a Canadian university. What bothers me is that people can be hired and fired so easily, so casually. The future of employment in Canada doesn't look good. Globalization and automation mainly mean that Canadian workers for multinational companies get replaced by slave laborers in very poor countries, and even the slave laborers eventually get replaced by machines and computers. What happens in Canada (and the U.S. etc.) is not really "unemployment" but "underemployment." The average North American worker is going to be facing a lifetime of low-wage temporary jobs. Finding a way out of that trap -- for me, or for anyone else- - is not going to be easy, and it will require a very, very aggressive approach to the situation. I have a few ideas (my friends laugh at me because I tell them they'd better learn how to grow potatoes), but I'm still a long way from finding the real solutions. Of course, most people don't even agree with my basic premises. They think that the future of the job world will be bright and cheerful. People ignore the fact (or just plain don't know) that although (e.g.) American GNP has risen steadily for twenty-five years, the average gross wage for American workers -- excluding the richest 25 percent of the population -- has dropped by 19 percent. The situation in Canada is very similar, I'm sure.
Thank you for writing. I like what you have written on your site. It is very well written, very insightful and timely. (I like the images too) I think that most people do not understand that their spending power is being eroded. They are too busy just trying to keep their heads above water. I wrote my article four years ago, and I feel it is more true now than it was even then. I wrote it with bitterness at the time, and that hasn't subsided yet. It probably never will. The public utility I worked for is suffering now and their level of service has gone way down, because they got rid of the "older" employees that were teaching the younger ones. Our local phone company went the same route and they are now paying large fines for their poor service. And last week announced they are now hiring to help eliminate the problem. It takes at least five years to train new field workers and the phone company too has lost all of their "older" employees. And things are so bad at the Rochester, Gas, and Electric, that the employees are trying to get a union in. The company has never had a union. And just 10 or 12 years ago didn't need one. My friends who are still working their (the survivors) hate their jobs and the company. But I have moved forward and have survived just fine. If you plan to do any selling on the web let me know and I'll send you a copy of what I've learned in my three years of marketing on the web. I too would like to move on and get more back to nature. However I don't ever see myself retiring completely. I have found that the web is a very POWERFUL tool and is becoming more so every day. With your permission I would like to include your e-mail and this reply on my Downsizing page. And place a link to your site. Good luck and please stay in touch. Dave Kaspersin
I read your comments a while back about the evils and ignorances of corporations. I am definitely on your side. I am a bit younger than you, but I am still beginning to understand the problems with these dinosaurs of business. I commend you on your efforts of creating your own business. That, too, is my ultimate dream.

Hi , Thanks for writting. Your letter is very interesting. My Downsizing letter was published in the Rochester D and C newspaper last week, and I have had a lot of calls all agreeing with me. I have also posted in a few spots on the web and have received some good feedback. I only wish I could do something more. When I was still working at the r,g,and e I traveled into many towns in the southern tier. They are all very depressed. My travels would also take me into many local factories, and as I was a worker, their workers would talk to me. Every place I went the workers were sad, scared, and depressed. Over 600 of us left the r.g.and e in July of 94. Every single employee that I knew left bitter. I really feel this Country is in very big financial trouble.

Dave I agree (as a fellow 53 year old) with your analysis on downsizing. Wonder where it will all end. Glad to see you are doing lots of creative stuff now. Onward and upward, and screw RG&E, etc.

Dave, I REALLY enjoyed you comment. My wife and I often discuss this problem. We are both in our mid-30's and are actively saving in case WE have to downsize in our fifties. The way we look at it. Today we are in our peak earning years. Not 15 years from today. Anyway, I hope to see you contribute again

Dear Mr. Kaspersin, My small company does interpersonal relationship seminars for the church and industry. Presently I am working with Employee and Family Assistance personnel. I would appreciate permision to use the material you posted on the WWW in this training. Thank you for your kind attention to this matter. Rev. John Baker

Rev. Baker, Please feel free to use my article on Downsizing. I am both honored and happy if my views can help someone.

Dear Mr. Kaspersin, Thank you for replying so promptly to my message. My questions regarding downsizing are as follows: 1. Do you feel that the generation of today is affected more or less than previous generations by the "downsizing" of America?

I feel they are being used through downsizing. Companies are hiring younger people to replace the older higher priced employees. The poor job market causes many qualified younger people to work for less money and less benefits. And the loss of the older employees' years of expertise is not imparted to the new employees because they (older) are forced to take the early retirement or are simply laid off before they can help teach. The answer to your question is "more affected".

2. Do you feel that your case is in the minority or do you think the trend is for more people to be laid off?

Rochester N. Y. is a very high tech town.(Kodak, Xerox, and many more) My high tech job at Rochester Gas and Electric took me into almost every company in our franchise area. EVERYONE I encountered during my last six years at R G & E was being downsized or were about to be. The morale at every business was so low that the employees were in various states of depression, as was EVERONE I worked with at R G & E. The emails and letters I receive about my article come from all over the country and most are very sad!

3. Do you think that the situation will reverse itself or do you think that it is a longterm or permanent problem?

I am very afraid that the situation will continue until we reach a major depression. As I said in my article, we have to pay our working middle class so they can purchase goods. Keeping the stockholders happy today is not the long term answer.

4. What advice would you give graduating students to combat this problem before they reach the workplace?

The advice I give to everyone who writes me is "do not plan on a long term commitment FROM or TO any company. Have a backup plan, and work toward starting your own business". (see attached email below)

what areas or fields of study do you think will be the most beneficial in the long run?

Business management, and computer related skills are the most important. (espec1ally anything related to the Internet and the World Wide Web)

Would you encourage students to double major while in college?


5. Regarding your new business, what new skills did you have to learn in order to be successful? The knowledge that you utilized in starting your business, did you have to acquire new skills or did you already have that knowledge?

When I started working for R G & E in 1967 we had a lot of work and a lot of overtime for the first five years I was there. Then they stopped all of the overtime for a period of time, and I was struggling (my own fault), but I realized then that I should not depend on one entity for my living. So I went into a small night time business as a backup. Both at my R G &E job and in my part time business, I made sure that I stayed on the cutting edge of technology. At R G & E this was often a struggle, during my last six years there, as the downsizing had begun and they didn't want to spend money. I had owned and operated Dynamic Recording for 19 of my 26 years at R G & E , and had a good business to fall back on as the retirement money would not be enough to live on by itself. Most of the 636 of us who took the buyout had to find other work to live. Especially any of us between 50 and 60. One year ago I acquired all of the necessary skills to produce web pages. I see the web as the future and equilizer for small businesses, so I put Dynamic on the web and we are now selling our Independent cd's and cassettes all over the world. We are also designing web pages for other businnesses, and reselling web space. I have no intention of ever retiring from business, and now I am completly in control of my own destiny.

6. Also, you said in your article that you are totally out of touch with what is going on in the world, yet you said you were also able to launch two new businesses on the World Wide Web at 53. How were you able to adapt so easily to a relatively modern technology such as this? And to what do you attribute your success?

The out of touch statement is meant to show the world that I was in fact not out of touch at all. Our vice president had said all of us over 50 were out of touch, however that was far from the truth. I was head of high voltage testing and Substation electronic testing. And I had built Dynamic Recording from the ground up in my spare time. His statements to us really hurt. I and many of my former coworkers have actually had nightmares about the last years we spent at R G & E. One of my former coworkers who was 50 at the time of the buyouts stopped in to see me today. He is still working there as he couldn't afford to retire, and he is very depressed, and very sorry he didn't leave. The company is laying off now, as they said they would, and the morale is at the lowest yet. They have not given any raises for three years now, except to the top brass of cource, and they do not intend to. One statement made by a VP "Any one who does not like our policies can try McDonalds. I understand they are hireing". It is very hard to let go of 26 years, and even though I have definitely gotten on with my life, I still feel a deep resentment toward the company that turned its back on us.

"dave kaspersin and his wife jackie are the owners of dynamic recording in rochester, a place that prides itself on being on the cutting edge of technology, and who have just launched two new businesses on the world wide web. (even though he is 53 now and totally out of touch with what is going on in the world, and cannot adapt to change.} he is also a consultant for abb corporation, who hired him because of his technical skills shortly after he left his job of 26 years with rochester gas and electric." he can be reached at: on the web or email

Also, I have an additional request to make. Earlier, I had failed to mention that the class I am reporting the story for is a Television Reporting class, and I would like to know if you would be available to do an interview with us. If you agree, this would be an on-camera interview and my scheduled shooting time is on Monday, April 8, between 3 to 7 PM. I understand that this may be inconvenient for you, but if it happens that you are in the city that day please give it some consideration. If not, thanks anyway and I appreciate the responses to my questions.

I would be happy to do the on camera interview. I would prefer to do it at the Dynamic studio as I think it would make a great backdrop to emphasize that over 50 is far from dead. Dave Kaspersin

From: "Brian Kelly" to: date: mon, 13 oct 1997 11:15:39 x-msmail-priority: normal although i cannot relate to your experience directly- my recent firing was supposedly for another reason, though i would not be surprised if the true reason was related to the bottom line- i have been studying this subject for some time. while i was working i put myself through school. now i will have a business degree as soon as i complete my senior thesis on downsizing. i had been planning this topic from the time i started school. i am now collecting as much data as i can. i would be honored if i could use some of your material in my paper. i will not do so if that is your wish. also, a suggestion for those laid-off: there is a great strength in numbers that you cannot begin to imagine. if a thorough list of these employers and their products is circulated and a nationwide boycott is called for that is thoughtful and well-written, you can seriously impact the financial success of these companies and their stockholders, even if those who boycott are only among the ranks of those downsized (of which there seem to be many!). companies need to realize this anyway, because as jobs are cut and the consumer base grows smaller, there are fewer people who have the money to buy their products. i believe that the companies and their stockholders are aware of this and think themselves immune to financial hardship. however, the truth of the matter is that most company executives and all stockholders have a large portion of their wealth tied up in stock. devalue that stock and they are no better off than the rest of us. fear and hope are the driving forces on wall street. a nationwide boycott of a company's product causes speculation on wall street to push stock prices lower. i don't know what the long term effects of this would be, but it sounds like great punishment. just a suggestion... thanks for reading. you may use my name (brian thomas) and my email address if you wish... i have removed his/her full name and firm. subject: downsizing morale i tremendously enjoyed your article on the morale of the american worker. i learned a long time ago to take anything said by management with a grain of salt. i, too, would like to take u a chance on myself and see what the free market will bear for my services. good luck (i know you make your own luck) on your business ventures and anything else you choose to do. going through a downsizing right now.

Thanks for writting. I have had a lot of letters in regards to my article. Some of the storys are very sad. Write me again and tell me a little about yourself.

Hi Dave, I am in the middle of being downsized. The stress and tension get to me sometimes and I worry about what kind of earning potential and what kind of work I'll be doing once they kick me out the door. I think I've told you my life story. Downsizing is the pits for the people being downsized but no one can keep a good person down. Thanks for listening. (I left most of this persons letter out as the things written would have made it easy to identify him or her. Dave K.)

, Thanks for writing back to me. You are doing all the right things, and because you are things will work out for you. I have survived downsizing and I have started a great new life on the web. If you are near us(Rochester N.Y.) you might want to come to one of our web seminers. We have them the first and third wednesdays at the studio from 1 to 3 and 7 to 9. It would give you more web ideas for your presentations and we offer advice on how to make money on the web. Good luck with everything and let's stay in touch.

Dave Your carousel page is fantastic! I love the video... and the new horses look spectacular. Hell, Dave, I even like your politics! I'll be referring several of my friends, some of whom need a little education in that department, to your piece on downsizing!

Dave, Your article "The Downsizing and Demoralizing of the American Workforce" is excellent . We agree that if "America doesn't smarten up this country is financially doomed." We are currently working with individual companies to implement the Methodology. We welcome the opportunity to talk with people who want to understand so they can plan for the future.

dave, thanks for the great letter. i'm proud of you, and i hope that when fate ultimately does to me what it has done to you that i will have your strength and success. they don't value people. they think we're slaves or animals, and we're nowhere near as important as their next quarterly management bonus. well, screw 'em. right does make might and every now and then the good guys do win. and your case is a good example. thanks for reading the column. all the best,

Regarding your posting on the Pathfinder Bulletin Board; I think you brought up some excellent points. We could survive on our pay being low if the cost of everything was proportional. These corporations continue to downsize and cut costs while the cost of the products and services they provide continue to increase. The cost of cereal to feed our children is outrageous yet the farmer that supplies the grain is going under because he doesn't make enough to feed his children that same cereal. I live in upstate New York, which used to be industrially and agriculturally powerful. Now the amount of people on welfare far exceeds the amount of skilled workers. You know as well as I do about the condition of New York. My eyes were really opened several years ago when I went through Utica for the first time. I could not believe how depressed the area was. I have lived in Troy for about 6 years and it makes me sick to see what has become of the city. I work for ---. Last year I was the victim of a reduction in force. Fortunately I was offered a temporary position with the same pay and benefits. I don't know how long this will last, but at least I have work. I am the first one to admit that changes have to be made, but to indiscriminately make cuts across the board is ridiculous. I work in --- Right now, in my office of -- people, we have more funding than we need and more work than we can handle. My office brought in enough money to support 25% of the ---last year. The reason for downsizing had nothing to do with money. Someone somewhere decided the number of employees wasn't correct, it needed to be less. In a normal company we should be hiring people. I hear GE in Schenectady is going to lay off more people. Next year GE will show a huge profit. I think you are right, it is already too late. I always sleep well at night though because the McDonalds down the street is always hiring. I think your article was very good, if you have any more material I would be interested in reading it. I always thought if I put my thoughts into some logical order, I could write a book. It probably wouldn't sell, after watching the decline of our nation I don't think there are enough people who give a crap. Keep up the good work, sometimes it feels like I'm the only one who sees the system breaking down.

I am sick of vision and mission statements. Business units and diversifacation meetings are a complete waste of time. DillBert is sooooo right about the corporate world today.

Five of the companies that were heaviest with the hatchet are now hiring employees - although they will add only a fraction of the number they let go. Sears, IBM, AT&T, Boeing and Xerox together laid off nearly 250,000 people over the past three years. This year, they expect to hire 46,000 employees, or nearly one-fifth of the number laid off, said a survey released Tuesday by the placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. "It is difficult and confusing for many people to understand how a company could lay off thousands of people one year and hire thousands the next," said John A. Challenger, executive vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "Global competition and the changing economy meant some companies had to alter their businesses drastically or fail." For instance, the recession forced many of Boeing Co.'s commercial airline clients to cancel or delay orders. But last month, the Seattle-based manufacturer said it expected to build 15,900 new commercial jets worth $1.1 trillion over the next 20 years. To handle the demand, Boeing plans to hire nearly 8,200 employees. The company's work force of 161,000 shrank by more than 50,000 employees since 1993 through layoffs and an early retirement incentive program. Sears, Roebuck and Co., is opening 300 new stores and hiring about 12,000 new employees this year. Three years ago, the Chicago-based company cut 50,000 jobs when it killed the Sears catalog and closed stores. In January, AT&T said it would reduce its work force of 300,000 by 40,000 over three years. Overall, AT&T, based in Basking Ridge, NJ, has announced nearly 70,000 job cuts since 1993. With layoffs still under way in the Northeast, AT&T is seeking 15,000 people who have knowledge of new and growing markets, such as the local phone business. IBM, based in Armonk, NY hired 15,000 workers last year and expects to hire 10,000 more this year, according to the survey. In the past three years, the company cut 70,000 jobs. In the first three months of the year, Xerox Corp. laid off 400 workers but hired 1,200 others in sales and business services. Overall since 1993, the Stamford, Conn.-based office machine manufacturer slashed 12,000 jobs.

Grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change The courage To Change the things I cannot accept, And the Wisdom To hide the bodies of those people I had to kill today because they pissed me off. And also, Help me to be careful Of the toes I step on today as they May be connected to the ass That I might have to kiss tomorrow. Unknown

Grant me the prozac To take on the hour The alcohol To wash it down And the Wisdom To strangle instead of stab The people I have to kill today because they pissed me off. And also, Help me to be sure That I step on as many toes as possible As I am sure That I won't give a shit tomorrow Traci J. Smetzer

Grant me the hammer To smash against my head The numbness To truly be as the walking dead And the dumbness To not feel quite so used By manager of less brain power than dog food And also,` Help me to refrain Of saying things I might, for those Who are the most Dilbert-esque Will soon be my upper level managers with big office and desk Popeye Cheryl L Stanley (duh)BR Thanks Cheryl. Sadly it tells it like it is today. Dave

I agree with you 100 percent. At the age of 53, I got caught in a downsizing that gives new meaning to the word. I had worked 23 yrs. for Revlon and was one of the top salesmen in the country. I had worked my way up and down the corporate ladder and then came the blood bath.They wiped out 54% of their workforce.Having gone through the the yrs. serverence they gave me and having found my 23yrs of retirement in Chapt. 11 for a period of time I'm still in a restructured state.I'm doing some substitute teaching but that is sporadic at best. I guess I'm open to any ideas concerning marketing products on the web.

If your a victim, it will steal your pride and leave you wondering if their is any humanity left on EARTH. Whats left for those who remain at the company is distrust,confusion and some are pushing brooms.

ubject: Downsizing in the News: Please redistribute freely The Ugly Side of U.S. Downsizing Brings International Attention The Employment Practices of California's Pacific Telesis Group are profiled in an upcoming Canadian documentary. San Francisco, February 6, 1997 By some estimates, over 10 million Americans have fallen victim to the grim reaper known as "Downsizing". Yet even while supposedly reducing staff, companies such as California's Pacific Telesis Group routinely hire new replacement employees. On a show called "Sunday Morning" produced by the Canadian Broadcast Company, the issues and effects of workforce churning will be explored. The program will feature current and former employees of Pacific Bell (aPacific Telesis Company), a Pacific Bell spokesperson, and San Francisco attorney and employee advocate Mark Thierman. Although "downsizing", "rightsizing", and "redundancy" strike fear in to the hearts of workers worldwide, nowhere has the trend altered the lives of so many. This broadcast marks the growing interest from abroad on the effects of downsizing, what the world can learn from the U.S. experience, and the ever increasing numbers of U.S. workers fighting back.
Subject: [Fwd: BOUNCE Non-member submission from [] (fwd)] gee, anybody want to drop in and ask pacbell why their "reorganization" just replaces long term skilled workers with new, younger, less experienced people and contract workers with no benefits? forwarded message date: tue, 8 apr 1997 14:45:53 0500
Subject: Internal Communications for Downsizing, Restructuring and Mergers, 7/97
Best Practices for Internal Communications for Downsizing, Restructuring and Mergers
July 28-30, 1997
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Most organizations have gone through, or are going through the process of organizational change.
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(So much total complete BULLSHIT, dK) Hear from the following companies that have gone through downsizing,
restructuring or a merger:
Athena & Co.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Northwestern University
Southern Ohio Medical Center
Nationwide Insurance Enterprise
Southern National Corp.
AON Consulting
Union Gas/
Centra Gas Ontario
The McGraw-Hill Companies
Royal Bank of Canada
University of Southern California
US Postal Service
Rockwell International
Pacific Bell
and many more!!
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Mention product code C*INHPM
Linda Moran

At 08:47 AM 7/6/97 -0700, you wrote: Great article! While we all agree, that doesn't help the problem or our situations. Not only was I downsized from a major computer company, I was again downsized by one of their subsidiaries! One recourse available to us is to boycott products made by our former employers....recently purchased a new computer - did NOT buy from Big Blue, even though I am a stockholder - went to Gateway!! But, I am woman, I will survive - somehow. Not many prospective employers will consider someone with 15 years experience and I'm constantly told I'm "overqualified." Translated - "we can't afford you." Pls don't use my name. Thanks for writing. Actually everytime any one is downsized they become part of a boycott and not by choice. I have added your email to the downsizing page. Good luck with everything. Dave Kaspersin
Dear Dave, To add to the volumes of mail you've received, here's one more for you. In my 24th year with Rohm and Haas Company, a Philadelphia based specialty chemical manufacturer, I was "involuntarily separated" on New Year's Eve, 1997. Their approach was, in early 1997 to offer a separation package to "volunteers," consisting of 4% of their annual salary for every year of service, to a maximum of 100%. In the event that there were not enough morons willing to give up their best earning and pension building years for a year's salary, at best, there would be "involuntary separations." This was to be achieved by immediate supervisors giving those subordinates, who had already been targeted (the 55+ age group), including myself, after 20 plus years of being rated at least satisfactory, suddenly, bad performance reviews. This started with the 1995 business year, and in early 1996, I received from my supervisor, who had recommended me, and secured for me, a promotion, just two years earlier, the worst review I'd ever had. At the same time, he assured me that "nobody was after my job," which, from a man I'd known, and considered a friend for more than 20 years, I believed. My wife, who is as intuitive as I am naive, warned me that he was setting me up, she was right. I also confirmed that two colleagues, both in their late fifties, in my immediate work group, had the same thing happen to them. This program coincided with the appointment of a new business team manager in 1995, an elitist snob with a Ph.D. from Cambridge, and an MBA from Harvard. My guess is that he looked at everyone's personnel file, and those that did not measure up academically, were to be booted out of his club. In my case, the education I have, almost a BA in Management, was earned at University, in the evenings, so that was that. Anyway, in an interview with this person, that was practically insisted upon by my supervisor, in May of 1997, I asked him what happens if he gets the "volunteers" he needs. His reply was that it wouldn't matter, and although it's a f-----g shitty thing to happen, my career at Rohm and Haas was over. I consulted an attorney who told me that if I had lots of money and time, he thought it was a good discrimination case. Unfortunately, I had neither, since unless I waived the rights of myself and my heirs to bring legal action, then, or in the future, I could kiss the severance money goodbye. The worst issue I have to wrestle with is being denied retiree health benefits. The company's retirement plan requires that in order to qualify for these benefits, one's age and years of service must add up to 80 or more. Mine total 79.25, and although the company CAN make exceptions, in fact, they can do whatever they want, they have refused to do so. As of this writing, I am on unemployment, my wife and I have no medical insurance, and we have custody of a 5 year old, and a 3 year old granddaughter, both of whom we will be raising as our own. Regards,

UPDATE 11/2001 It was just released that we have been in a recession since March of this year. Which means that the Clinton administration was lying to the American people all along ! And which proves that all of the downsizing has taken its toll. Dave Kaspersin
If you have a story to tell send it to me and I'll add it to this list. I do not publish names or e-mail addresses unless requested. by you.
Dave Kaspersin

Email Click here to send me a letter.

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