Note: I originally had "at least 900 face job losses" in the headline. This "900" number was based on job cuts reported to the state Employment Development Department under a state law that requires certain employers to give workers at least 60 days advance written notice of any plant closing or mass layoff. This 900 number comes from these California Job Cut Warnings at SFGate.com’s Data Center.
But there are also the 800 workers at Longs Drugs corporate offices in Walnut Creek and in Antioch who have been told they will need to start looking for work. An astute reader reminded me of the pending Longs lay-offs, which follow Longs' purchase by CVS, another drugstore chain, last year.
I went to SFGate.com's Data Center after reading the news that Macy’s Inc. is going to eliminate 7,000 jobs, about 4 percent of its 180,000-person workforce, due to slowing sales in a tough economy and following one of the worst holiday shopping seasons in decades. The stories say Macy's would also close 11 stores, but didn't name where. Moreover, the stories didn't pinpoint where Macy's would cut staff, and if these cuts would trickle down to Walnut Creek’s Broadway Plaza, Concord's Sunvalley mall, or Pleasanton’s Stoneridge mall.
Update 2/3: The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Macy's would slash 1,400 jobs in San Francisco, "where it will eliminate the Macy's West division that now handles buying, planning and merchandising for 259 stores in California and nearby states." Macy's will also cut "an average of five or six jobs at each of its many stores, distribution centers, and local offices."
The announcement of Macy’s job cuts come about two weeks after upscale home and kitchen shop Williams-Sonoma, which has a prominent storefront in Walnut Creek, would eliminate 1,400 positions, including 18 percent of its full-time staff. Williams-Sonoma was one of 10 retailers that made 24/7.com’s Black Friday 10: Retailers Who Might See 2009, which I reported back in November. Williams-Sonoma did make it to 2009, but it appears to be limping along.
As for the more than 900 East Bay suburban workers whose lay-off notices are listed on the Data Center site, about 860 work for JP Morgan Chase in Pleasanton, and the company plans to let these people go in stages throughout 2009. However, 654 of these people have been told that they won’t have a job after March 31.
Actually, these people were employed at Washington Mutual Inc.’s call center in Pleasanton, where they would answer customer inquiries about credit cards and consumer banking, the San Francisco Chronicle reported back in November. The Seattle-based Washington Mutual was seized by federal regulators and sold to JPMorgan Chase in September. In November, Washington Mutual announced that it would close this call center and cut hundreds of positions in San Francisco, eliminating a total of 1,600 positions throughout the Bay Area.