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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Should we know?

Job cuts are under way at IBM in Essex Junction this morning and that makes for a tough day for a lot of people.

Apparently, whether one is inside the building or out, one doesn't know how many cuts there will be.

Under federal law, as you read in this morning's Free Press, a company doesn't have to inform government of even large-scale layoffs if it is giving employees 60 days' notice or severance. In the Statehouse today, people are buzzing about the size of the number with no facts at hand.

The question here isn't so much about law, but about what's right. Should an employer like IBM, knowing the impact they have in this state by virtue of their size, give officials a heads up? Or should they have room to conduct the layoffs the way they want?

I can tell you from personal experience there doesn't seem to be a good way to conduct layoffs. Give plenty of notice or spring it on em suddenly - either way it rots.

- Terri Hallenbeck

I suppose this makes Bernie Sanders and his union goons happy - after all of the IBM bashing they have done over the years! Way to go!
Don't blame the unions for protecting workers from corporate greed.
Jim = Jobs ???
If the circ was built there wouldn't be a worldwide economic crisis!
Jim's failures to deliver on any campaign promise are not his fault.

It's someone else's fault, always.

The buck stops someplace else.
It's a sign of the times. 68,000 laid off yesterday in other large corporations around the country. IBM workers in other states are also affected. Know doesn't seem like much consolation, but at least the workers are getting severance based up service. For many others in other companies, just the layoff notice.
2.6 million people lost their jobs in the last year so blaming local politicians for job cuts here seems rather foolish in the overall context of things.
Yeah, you are right EXCEPT that Gov Jim DOuglas not only supported Pres Bush's policies, he embraced his economic policies, and chaired his election and re-election campaigns.

Therefore, s _ _ t does flow downhill!
Except that Bernie's hatred towards IBM had already fueled a sudden desire to do more stuff at Fishkill. Not to mention the liberals long-time refusal to deal with the circ highway. When crunch time arrives, these businesses have good memories.
I know, I know, we should all lower our standards as low as possible so businesses will grace us with their presence. If we raise our incentives for IBM above the NY offer and than they one up us and so on and so on until we are literally paying businesses to come to our state with our tax money. Oh wait, that's what we are already doing. Quick someone remind me of the definition of the free market.

Nothing like a race to the bottom to get the heart rate going.
trying to attract or keep jobs - or responding to requests from employers - is a "race to the bottom"?

There is no fabled "Quality of Life" when the good jobs disappear, and when lifelong Vermonters can no longer make enough $$ to make up for our ridiculously high living expenses.

I say roll out the red carpet for big employers! We need more of 'em, not less!

(I'm sure some unemployed keyboard jockey will disagree with me, so fire away!)
Guess you didn't hear; Fishkill got layoffs also.

For someone as incompetent as you think Sanders is, you sure give him a lot of credit for being able to influence corporations in the area. Which is it? You can't have it both ways.
"Unemployed keyboard jockey" rather unkind way to refer to people who have been laid off. Or is the sympathy reserved for certain of the laid off?
Go Deb Markowitz!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Economics 101-
A company employing 300 will have a payroll of +/-$7.5 mill that goes into the local economy- those 300 will easily support another 300 in services around the community. Those 600 people probably pay $300k in property taxes, of which 75% pays for schools. They pay +/- $300k in VT taxes as well as the employer's tax on profits. Those 300 employees also contribute (or the company) to a health insurance at about $800/month per employee keeping people insured and out of ER rooms.
How does the money get to Washington in the first place?-
Your money and your taxes are paying for this huge bailout. Now they are favoring us by giving iy back to people who abuse it.
So- we really do not need businesses to support the community- we will just ask Bernie & Obama to send us cash- why should we even look for work.
Amen! Once proud and frugal Vermonters have become (for the most part) nothing more than liberal droids, satiating themselves on Bernie's communist kool-aid.
Too late. The Repubs and their corporate sponsors got there first!
Go Doug Racine
The clouds have lifted, the sun is shining, and Bush is no longer President. The dims control congress, everyone will now get their 40 acres and a mule, the terrorists now love us, and jw still won't work! What's your whiny, pathetic excuse now that you can no longer blame the Republicans for the depression they forced on to you?
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