For those of a morbid frame of mind, or merely of a train-spotter psyche, an interesting article on the Personnel Today website has just been published. Called Redundancy Tracker it lists all the announced major job losses since 12th September up to 30th January and it certainly makes for depressing reading.
According to the list there have been over 92,000 redundancies in that period – and that is only from high-profile and large employers. Low-lights include 27,000 at Woolworths, 10,000 at BT (where a job used to be for life) 2,444 at various local authorities (presumably the ones that also invested their Council Tax payers’ money in Iceland?) 1,000 on the London Underground and 2,200 at Virgin Media.
Here in the City there have been 270 heads lost at Linklaters, 1,900 at Bank of America following the takeover of Merrill Lynch, another 1,900 from Santander and 750 at Lehman Bros. XL prop up the list with 1,700 job losses.
Bernard Matthews suffered 130 redundancies, which might be good news for turkeys, if no one else.
You can find the list at www.personneltoday.com/articles and if you have news of any other redundancies they want to hear from you with the details.
The tracker reminded me of the nightly jobs losses news on Channel 4 News at the time of the Thatcher recession in the early 80s. As I recall (dimly) the losses then, of course, were in manufacturing industries in the North, where it was truly grim. This time around, of course, things don’t look so pretty down here in the South and the fact that we have seen our manufacturing base eroded over the years as financial services came to the fore is supposed to explain why the UK’s recovery will take longer than any other developed country when things do start to pick up.
The heavy snowfall this morning (which was very pretty from my bedroom window) and the news of wildcat strikes across the north in protest at foreign workers taking British jobs also put me in mind of the winter of discontent in 1978/79. I remember being delighted at not being able to go to school because the school had no oil. As I recall that was a very hard winter too with plenty of snow. I was rather disappointed to find that my railway line was operational today as I was looking forward to throwing snowballs at the kids. Instead I am in the office (the only one) and will no doubt be renamed “Scutt of the Antarctic”.