Mass “heartless” layoffs hit American workers ahead of the holidays

As many American workers prepare for the holiday season, some are grappling with the mental and financial anguish of sudden layoffs from their jobs.

After companies complained of labor shortages during 2021 and 2022, many companies laid off workers in mass layoffs as 2022 drew to a close.

Job cuts have increased in the United States this year, up 6% for the first eleven months of 2022 compared to last year. In 2021, 320,173 of them were declared public, although there have been fewer jobs in the past two years than in the past few decades.

The technology sector is driving the surge in job cuts, with several prominent tech companies including Meta, Twitter and Facebook’s Amazon announcing mass layoffs in recent weeks.

Catalent, a pharmaceutical manufacturing contractor, recently told employees that the company would cut about 600 jobs in Indiana, Texas and Maryland over the next several weeks, as demand for Covid vaccines fell precipitously.

said a laid-off worker at Catalent in Bloomington, Indiana, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation from potential employers.

The person added, “I’m 45 and I have no idea what I want to do. People who are still working are affected by this. They have to take a slack and lose people who worked next to them. I wish they had waited until the first of the year. Who wants to find On a job or hiring right before Christmas?”

Some experts see the layoff as unnecessary.

“All of these companies are making money. They’re doing it because other companies are doing it,” Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer of the Stanford Graduate School of Business said of the recent trend of technology companies laying off employees.

“Layoffs do not often reduce costs, as there are many cases where laid-off employees are hired as contractors, with the companies paying the contracting company. Layoffs do not often lead to an increase in stock prices, in part because Layoffs do not increase productivity. Layoffs often do not solve the underlying problem, which is often an ineffective strategy, loss of market share, or very little return. Pfeiffer added that layoffs are a decision Basically bad.

Layoffs have many negative effects on workers who face them. A study by British researchers found that layoff is the seventh most stressful life experience, associated with significant increases in developing a new health condition as well as risks of suicide, depression and substance abuse.

Other companies announced mass layoffs just before the holidays, claiming that the economic downturn led to the cuts, even as they posted profits and the economy showed no signs of contracting. However, the rate hike by the Federal Reserve has sparked fears of a downturn soon.

Stellantis, which makes the Jeep Cherokee SUV, announced on Dec. 9 that it would close a plant in Illinois that will lay off more than 1,200 workers by the end of February 2023. It cited rising production costs for electric vehicles.

“It came without the slightest warning and without any details whatsoever. It wasn’t even a rumor, so it dropped like a bomb,” said Diana Fell, a worker at the Belvidere, Illinois, plant who was on medical leave for knee surgery when it was announced. “.

The Auto Workers Union criticized the decision to close the plant, given the amount of government subsidies the company receives.

She added, “We knew our future looked bleak as we had nothing to build after the end of June, but it was still a bit of a shock.” “It ruined the holidays for us. No one is in the mood for that right now.”

Just before Thanksgiving, about 2,700 workers at United Furniture — a company with facilities in Mississippi, California and North Carolina — received an email notifying them that they were being laid off immediately.

Stephanie Watkins from Mississippi has been an employee of United Furniture for about five years. She was at work around 10:50 p.m. on Tuesday, November 21, when the first company-wide email was sent. She said no one should show up for work on November 22 and drivers on the road should stop deliveries.

She described the manner in which workers were notified of the closure as “heartless”.

“We knew then that something bad was about to happen. We took it upon ourselves to call it quits, finished, and left. Exactly one hour after the first email was the last email to terminate all employees,” Watkins said. in shock. We’ve tried contacting our superiors to ask questions, and if we get any answer at all, it means that they also weren’t aware of this kind of information.”

RV utility Tiffin Motorhomes sent out layoffs notices to dozens of workers at its plants in Belmont and Burnsville, Mississippi, as well as in Red Bay, Alabama, at the beginning of the month, citing economic issues.

“Everything after hearing the word ‘layoff’ melted away because of the struggle ahead. My mind was racing about which bills I could pay and which ones I should put off more so I wouldn’t Still trying to make Christmas happen small.”

“They don’t value the staff, and being laid off three weeks before Christmas is too bad.”

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