Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eastman to Layoff 300

I was wondering when this shoe would drop. Eastman Chemical of Kingsport will let go 300 workers. This is a big hit for our area. From the front page of today's Johnson City Press:
KINGSPORT — Eastman Chemical Co. will shave its 2009 costs by another $100 million in a move that will include cutting employee base pay by 5 percent and reducing its global work force by up to 300 before May 1, mostly through layoffs.

“We would anticipate the majority of the reduction in force would take place here in Kingsport,” Eastman spokeswoman Tracy Broadwater said Monday.

Broadwater said the RIF may include a few early retirements, but that the majority of the reduction would involve layoffs.

“Nobody likes doing these sorts of things, but if we’re going to come out of this period stronger, they’re necessary,” Broadwater said. She said the company hasn’t yet determined what positions it will cut....

....“With consumer confidence at an all-time low, the reduction of salaries affects buying decisions,” Garceau said. She said jobs at companies such as Eastman are estimated to have a “multiplier effect” on the local economy of two to two-and-a-half times.

“A reduction in payroll by Eastman of $1 million will have an economic impact upon our region of $2 to $2.5 million,” Garceau said. Using that same multiplier, estimating an average Eastman salary at $40,000 and multiplying by 6,000 local employees would create a payroll reduction of $12 million, or an economic impact of $24-30 million.
PCUSA moderator, Bruce Reyes-Chow, posted Continued prayers for peace in uncertain economic times. He offered a link to a letter sent by denominational officials to churches as well as other posts he has made on this topic. He also wrote this prayer, one that I am praying for folks in the Tri-Cities and around the world:

God of the very breath we breathe

let your peace be known amidst the economic chaos of the day

be with those bound by worry and anxiety
be with those facing loss of food and shelter
be with those who are desperate and panic-filled

be with those who turn away from the stranger
be with those who cling to apathy and comfort
be with those leaning more on self than on You

be with us all as we strive to live lives worthy of Your grace
be with all your children, Lord
be with all your children

And let your peace be known, Lord
let your peace be known..

Amen


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