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Tuesday, 23 October, 2001, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Job cuts: Have you been affected?
Rolls-Royce has announced 5,000 jobs losses as a result of the terrorist attacks on America.Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
Most of the redundancies - 3,800 in total - will be made at factories in the UK.
The company says that sales at its civil aerospace engine business are likely to be down by 30% in 2002
Overall, more than 100,000 jobs have been lost as a result of the US terror attacks - the majority in the aviation and tourism industries.
However, the global economy has been struggling for some time, and many companies had already announced redundancies.
Are you worried that your job will be affected? Have your travel plans been affected by the cutbacks? Or do you think that companies are over-reacting in the wake of the terrorist attacks?
Di Stewart, USA
Companies no longer offer a job for life and show little loyalty to their employees. But this means a lot less than a 100% from the employee, it works both ways ...
Amalan - To which Americans are you referring? I think it is highly doubtable that Americans blame the rest of the world for their problems - at least no more so than any other country. Indeed, the opposite is probably true. Some may further argue that citizens of other countries love to blame America for their problems instead of looking at their own backyard. Considering that you left America to be your own boss in India suggests you don't really mind the American capitalistic rat-race since you will be responsible for hiring and firing your own workers in the future.
Contrary to some of the views here, there are still at least two "jobs for life" - Undertakers and Insolvency Practitioners. Unfortunately, I am neither of these!
The real problem goes back to when accountants started running companies. When I started work, if there were problems companies 'marketed' their way out of trouble by developing new markets, products etc. Nowadays the attitude is sack the workers and bury your head in the sand and hope the problem goes away. I wonder how many accounts staff have been made redundant this year?
Brian J, Canada (UK ex-pat)
I was made redundant in the early 1980s after being informed that I was, "An extravagance the firm could no long afford." I.e. I did an excellent job, but they didn't believe the firm's clients could afford to pay for my services.
Since, 1982 I have been a self-employed contract consultant, doing exactly the same job as previously, only making more money. The firm who originally fired me have since gone bankrupt. I now employ 35 people on my own staff - go figure.
As a Royal Mail employee since 1986 I have forgotten the number of times people have said to me "you've got a job for life". Last week Our parent company Consignia announced 20,000 - probably more - redundancies. If the traditional 'jobs for life' are no longer safe then whose are?
In UK, when the football team don't do well, the manager goes. In Singapore, the players go. The same theory can be said of the companies in UK. I work for a major airline in Singapore, we've been having trouble with all the wrong investments. And they are now jumping on the bandwagon, putting the blame on the terrorist attacks. And now, we are facing paycuts and retrenchment. Shouldn't the CEO be going since he was the one who motioned for the lousy investments?
Andrew, New York
I and about 40 others have been made redundant from a small company. Motorola have laid off 500 workers in the same town, but because they laid off so many, those people from Motorola are entitled to free training to help them find new jobs, yet I am not entitled to anything! Instead of swanning around the world perhaps Mr Blair should spend his war money on helping people in HIS OWN country!
Companies are taking advantage of the 11th Sept, they want to avoid bad publicity and whilst all of the world's eyes are focussed on Afghanistan they can deal with the "it was coming anyway" bad news and bury it very quickly.
The evidence clearly shows a recession was already on the way. The events of Sept 11 are just being used by industrial bosses as an excuse to lay off workers, just as they are being used by governments to justify attacks on our civil liberties and the right to protest, by branding all dissenters as 'terrorists'.
I have just started my 9th job this year, and had about 40 jobs in 20 years - I have been made redundant three times, it is now a fact of life, gone are the days of permanent jobs for life. Don't let it get you down it makes for a varied and interesting life.
Pendulums swing. When Dan Air and Boeing shared the cost of getting the Boeing
727 onto the British Register, no pilot passed the type technical written exams until
the third attempt. This was because the 727 was in competition with the Hawker
Sidley Trident. When Rolls Royce looked like folding at the time their aero engines
were to power the new Tristar wide body jet, no pilot failed the type technical exam.
Was it not Marx that pointed out that all the working man has to sell is his labour. It was the cynical disposal of workers by the bosses that led to the rise of the trade union movement in the 19th Century. Perhaps the 21st will see similar.
I have been working two years since graduating in manufacturing engineering, and have been made redundant twice from large companies, so I understand what Rolls-Royce employees are going through. It's the way of life these days, and there is no such thing as a job for life anymore. We have to be aware of company situations and economies, which change all the time. For this reason we have to change all the time too, by updating our skills and experiences. The world doesn't stand still and neither should we.
Mrs Cath Dawson, UK
I have been made redundant five times in my life and I am only 39. 12 years ago I spent four years retraining to be a service engineer in electronics servicing. It did me no good at all. Jobs exist as a by-product of the company. The main objective is to make profits for shareholders. If the two ever clash jobs always come second. If a company had one customer it would be considered foolish. So why do 90% of people have one income? This is also foolish. You should always have a plan B.
Seven years ago I worked for a company that no longer exists. Despite the fact that they were going down the pan, redundancies never involved management until a new chief executive came in. He took the bull by the horns and swept out some of the "superfluous" management. There were a lot of smiles around the office when that was announced. If only other places had the gumption to get rid of the My Back Pocket Only Brigade things might be a little different, but our selfish gene largely denies us the power of truly rational thought.
R Blake, UK
I worked for a small company which went bust and made everyone redundant a few months ago. We have no big headlines. No unions causing a storm. No government hand-outs. I had to learn to deal with it and move on. So will the Rolls-Royce workers. It's hard and brutal, but it's life.
Manos Theocharopoulos, UK
After seeing the Rolls-Royce cuts I feel all the major companies are pressing the panic button quite a bit early. They should have at least waited for six months until the end of this financial year. By panicking they are creating hysteria among others who have not followed them. Hence some other companies may follow suit, as most business are interlinked. I feel the respective Governments should interfere as the US did over the airlines.
In the 80s it was thought that due to
the great advances in technology,
by 2000 everyone would work
30 hours a week, and the rest would be for
But what is happening is 50% of the
population is working 80 hours a week and
the rest is unemployed
"Permanent jobs" exist only for those at the very top. Whilst the rest of us have to roll with the punches of market economy, the fat-cats live in a gilded world in which nothing can happen to them, no matter how badly they perform.
I lost my job at the start of August, as the company virtually collapsed. I'm qualified and experienced in both IT and aerospace engineering, and I've been unable to get another job since then. That just about sums it up really!
Andy Twiss, UK
In reply to Shaun and Deborah, It is my belief that the 3G licences were sold in an auction. The prices were pushed so high by greedy companies outbidding each other. It appears to me that the companies that have now riddled themselves with debt and are struggling to pay for these licences are suffering from nothing more than bad management. Surely, the limit for what was economically viable to pay for a 3G licence was set by the board of each company (if this sum wasn't done, then there really is no hope!). Several companies have over-stretched themselves and are now cutting back on staff and anything else they can think of to pay for it. Meanwhile, incompetent board members get paid-off handsomely. The government should not be blamed for this situation, neither should they refund any of the money, thus removing funds that have already been allocated to other areas.
After being the victim of cutbacks at one investment bank in the city I was lucky enough to step straight into another contract with another bank.
But guess what's happened now? Due to cut backs I'm not needed again.
That's twice in three months. D'oh!
Companies are doing what they are doing because it makes business sense. You live in a capitalist society. Get used to it.
Whilst I deplore the barbaric events of September 11th. I think it is pretty obvious that a lot of companies were in trouble beforehand and are 'using' it as a reason for the loss of jobs. The first US airline to react, Continental knew within two days that they would have to cut services and personnel by 20%, and surprisingly all the other 'large' US airlines have followed suit. I have travelled extensively within the USA over the past 10 years and have only been on a handful of flights that were totally full, The US airline system was always over capacity.
David Clarke, USA (Ex-pat)
The economic downturn has hit every industry hard, the software industry in particular. In India the economic downturn has led to even blue-chip companies laying off hundreds of people.
This adds to the alarming unemployment rate of 30% in India.
Almost every company has announced a 20% to 50% pay cut.
The worst is yet to come. The chances are that the unemployment rate may touch even 60%.
We believe that it will take a decade at least before things get back to normal.
I am surprised by some of the comments seeming to blame shareholders. If it wasn't for the shareholders, there wouldn't be the investment for many companies. And if any employee ever thinks that they are anything other than a temporarily useful commodity to their firm, they better think again. If you can't beat them, join them.
Alex Banks, UK, living in Ireland
As you all aware downsizing is here to stay for a while until the G8 meeting in Kananaskis(Rocky Mountains) resort in Canada. By then the Taleban will have been toppled and then re building of the country of the Afghans. The mighty G8s will then put up a Marshall Plan to kick-start their economies and then others will follow. For now job security is history just prepare to be laid off.
I think it's rubbish that the attacks should be blamed. If it were so, and companies were genuine, I would think that they would start by reducing the pay packages of those six figured earners who do nothing.
I am working in a software services company and since, in any difficult times, the first to be affected will be the service sector, we have been facing lay-offs, stoppage of pay hikes and the most lucrative part of working overseas and getting paid in dollars and yens have become a distant dream. This is the worst part of globalisation. If a company in USA sneezes then companies in other countries right from Europe to Asia slit their employees throat. But I completely agree that over reaction by media people makes the companies over react and finally the employees are caught in this vicious cycle, which is going on for the past 12 months. I have also frozen all my expenses and tour plans.
Terry Williams, UK
I work in the Telecomms Sector. It has been declining throughout this year with the number of jobs decreasing and the rates being paid for those that are left savagely slashed. Much of the problem stems from the ridiculously high prices handed over to the government for the award of 3G licences. This is likely to mean that thousands of people's livelihoods will go as companies cannot afford to make use of the licences by rolling out new networks. Meanwhile the government sit and watch and count the money they got for doing nothing. Shame on them!
Nigel Rees, Briton in USA
It's just the market at work; some times people get hurt; that's capitalism; just get another job
I've already been let go! After September 11, half my old company's orders vanished, so about a third of its staff did too...
John Ellis, UK
This is over-reaction at its BEST by all the companies.
Only the other day it was reported that the UK's unemployment figures were getting lower and yet companies are axing jobs left right and centre. I do think, however, that while many companies have undoubtedly suffered since the WTO attacks, some of the job cuts we are seeing are companies taking the opportunity to streamline their operations while they have a good excuse to do so.
Scott Baldry, England
Nick Rooney's comments make me mad. We have seen the catastrophic deaths of thousands of people, the world plunged into threats of war, thousands more laid off work, and all he can talk about is his office party - get real!
I work for a large American investment bank and we have been informed that they have cancelled the Christmas parties as a sign of respect. This is rubbish - they just want to save the cash and are using the death of thousands as a sick excuse.
Arif Sayed, Dubai, UAE
Personally, I'm spending every penny I can get my hands on to help preserve British jobs. I've maximized out my credit cards and gone on a huge spending frenzy. I told my boss that I don't want a rise, to help preserve my own job. These are bound to be times of hardship but we can all 'do our bit'. Every job saved retains another earner who, in turn, can help save other jobs. It is, after all, the western economy that seems to be the intended target of the terrorists.
This year there have been job cuts and pay cuts throughout the different industries. The one time boom in IT, airlines and other industries is over, companies now have to streamline their companies and have to set-up systems using the skills they had purchased then when these systems are in place and work well, sack the staff. Except the top directors who by sacking staff have been successful in saving money so are rewarded with huge pay rises.
It has been happening for a while now, it's unfortunate that in the present time, the conflict has taken top priority. Our Prime Minister is off on his world wide assignment against terrorism, while back home in the UK, the whole financial market is folding, and the government refuse to accept we are in a recession, not caused by the collapse of the Twin Towers, but when our own financial centre in The east end was hit by another terrorist organisation. It still is happening. And I fear will still go on.
As with many others here, I work in technology, my firm is currently undertaking a redundancy program. With so many other jobs being slashed it's hard to see a clear way through this, my colleagues and I are all certain the cutbacks are solely in the pursuit of shareholder gain. Hopefully, when some clarity returns to the world in say, six months time, we can all get on with our lives and enjoy stable employment and prosperity. Again echoing words here, making sure the terrorists have not won.
Doesn't it seem silly to be cutting back these industries now there is a war on?
Andrew Torrance, Wales , UK
Thanks to my employers using the attacks as a convenient excuse I've taken a lovely voluntary redundancy package which I shall be using to tour the world.
I agree Shaun! My husband works for the largest telecommunications company in the UK, but not for long. On October 16 he was informed, along with many others, that his job will no longer exist under a new structure and that he will only be employed until 31st Jan 2002. We hope to be able to hold onto our home for a short period, if not we will have to sell up. Thank you, Mr Blair, for enabling me to share a very bleak future with my family!
My company made lots of redundancies at the beginning of the year, so they wouldn't have to now. So far so good. But a lot of companies are using Sept 11th as an excuse to cut costs, why? Not because there isn't enough money to pay staff but because there isn't enough money for the shareholders. As for life changing since Sept 11th, mine hasn't - since then I've still flown back from America, live near Canary Wharf, and plan to take my holiday next year in Cyprus, a place a lot of people seem to be avoiding because it's 'near' the Middle East. The moment my life gets affected in any way is the moment the terrorists have won.
I work from Marconi in Coventry. I graduated from University in the summer and was accepted onto the graduate scheme. As you may know, Marconi are cutting their work force and have offered Voluntary Redundancy. Graduates have been told that they can not apply for VR. However, we can be sacked....
I work in the UK tourism industry which the government conspicuously failed to help during the foot and mouth crisis. And they still stand by and watch as thousands of jobs are cut and the knee-jerk, panic-mongering tabloids scare away tourists with baseless claims that we are next on the terrorist hit list. Unfortunately, the fact that Tony Blair is enjoying his international statesmanship (by default) means that the UK economy, tourist industry and public services can be left to fall apart.
Mark Inno, UK
As that spin doctor said in her e-mail, now would be a good time to bury bad news. Aren't these companies doing just that, using September 11 as an excuse?
Six months from now when the economy recovers, companies like Rolls Royce will be bleating to all and sundry about the lack of skilled people about.
Am I worried? You bet! My company, after a swathe of redundancies, has now announced that this year we won't be getting a pay rise. If we want a pay rise, then they'll have to cut more jobs. As the cost of living will go up next year, I'm effectively taking a pay cut.
Big companies like mine are the first to trumpet their support for their 'most valuable asset - our people' and the last to support this asset when things get rocky.
I fly within Europe and the UK nearly every week. Since September 11 my flying habits have not changed at all.
There seems to be to be a morbid fascination with the plane attacks in America, the Anthrax scares and potential further incidents.
It feels to me like the public and the media almost want something to happen over here in the UK. That way, the whole country would have an excuse not to get out of bed in the morning and go to work. I say that yes we should be cautious, vigilant and wary, but not use this as a reason for giving up on the job in hand.
Well said, Alan Pope! If life does not go on as usual, then the terrorists are winning. Enough disruption has been made to so many people's lives that I feel fortunate that mine is as yet unaffected. Of course I am concerned that my job may not always be safe, or that I will not find another job, should I lose this one. This however should be something at the back of my mind every day. I have frozen any major expenditure in my household until the economy settles down, but I am not going to live in fear. Let's get on with work and help the economy, rather than using it as an excuse to worry.
I think the tragic events of September 11 are just an excuse to get rid of people! Shame on you people who used this tragedy as an excuse to cut jobs! You know who you are!!!!
Companies have used the terrorist attacks as a convenient excuse to trim the fat in places they had wanted to for some time. I wouldn't be surprised if in years to come, we will see this as the cause of the recession, rather than a tragic event concurrent with it.
I work for a small software company and in the last few months over half the company has been made redundant. There are about 20 of us left now and we come to work each morning not knowing whether we still have jobs or not. I have had job offers elsewhere only to be told the company has put a hold on recruitment and the offer has been withdrawn. My husband was also made redundant from his job last week. But worried? Not really. There's no point as it's out of my control. In fact I'm carrying on as normal, having fun and going out in the evenings just as I was before.
Mahesh Chandra Somani, Finland
19 Oct 01 | Business
Rolls-Royce cuts 5,000 jobs
18 Oct 01 | Business
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United Airlines 'may perish'
09 Oct 01 | Business
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23 Aug 01 | Business
Rolls-Royce profits dip
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