Deere, Sprint, Home Depot lay off 15,700 total workers


Published: Monday, January 26, 2009 at 8:51 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 26, 2009 at 8:51 a.m.

ATLANTA — Home Depot, the home improvement retailer, said Monday that it would cut 7,000 jobs and close its smaller Expo chain as the recession continues to batter the nation’s housing market.

The company said the cuts would affect about 2 percent of its work force.

Under the plan, the retailer will close its 34 Expo Design Centers, five YardBIRDS stores, two Design Center stores and a bath remodeling business that has seven locations. Those stores will close in the next two months.

Its core Home Depot stores will not be affected. The company also plans to shed 2,000 non-store jobs and freeze the pay of its officers.

Home Depot will record a $532 million pretax charge in the fourth quarter related to the closures and layoffs.

MOLINE, Ill. — Farm equipment maker Deere & Co. will lay off nearly 700 workers between factories in Brazil and Iowa.

The Moline, Ill.-based company says it'll fire 502 workers at an agricultural harvesting equipment plant in Horizontina, Brazil.

And 190 employees at a plant in Davenport, Iowa, which makes construction and forestry equipment, will be laid off or temporarily reassigned effective Feb. 16.

That's according to an e-mail sent Sunday to The Associated Press by Deere spokesman Ken Golden.

Employees were informed last week.

In November, Deere announced that South American market sales could drop by 20 percent and worldwide construction and forestry equipment sales could fall by 12 percent.

In the past six months, Deere has placed 188 employees on indefinite layoff at the John Deere Dubuque Works in Iowa.

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Sprint Nextel Corp. is eliminating about 8,000 positions in the first quarter as it seeks to cut annual costs by $1.2 billion.

The third-largest U.S. wireless provider said Monday it will complete the layoffs largely by March 31. About 850 of the reductions are voluntary and the company said it expected a charge of more than $300 million for severance and other costs.

The company is also extending a freeze on salary increases.

The Overland Park, Kansas-based company has struggled since acquiring Nextel Communications Inc. in 2005 as technical problems, poor efforts to consolidate the two companies and stiff competition for feature-rich phones has led many subscribers to switch to competing services.

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