Report: Toyota’s First Layoffs Since 1950??
With the down economy, there had been much discussion about whether Toyota could continue it’s “no layoffs (of permanent employees)” streak going. That may end soon, sadly:
Toyota is considering cutting more than 1,000 full-time jobs in North America and the United Kingdom to cope with faltering global demand, a news report said Friday.
The details of the job cuts will likely be finalized by the end of the month, said the Nikkei, Japan’s top business daily, citing an unnamed senior company official. Japan’s top automaker could slash more jobs in other regions if global auto sales continue to slump, the daily said.
If Toyota resorts to cutting full-time staff, it will be the first time since 1950, when the automaker reduced 1,600 full-time jobs in Japan, the Nikkei said.
In 1950, then-president Kiichiro Toyoda resigned in shame after 1,600 employees took early retirements, according to the Toyota website.
…battled for months for the sake of his employees, but ever-worsening conditions showed the company to be unsustainable without significant change. Recognizing that if the company disappeared, so too would the livelihood of all Toyota employees, Kiichiro realized that lay-offs could not be avoided. With sorrow in his heart, he explained the circumstances to his workers, which led to 1,600 voluntary retirements. Management then vowed that this would be the first and last time such an event would come to pass at Toyota, and, in a gesture of respect to former employees, Kiichiro resigned from his position as president of the company.
Considering a Toyoda family member is now CEO, newly named, I doubt a similar resignation would occur this time. Akio Toyoda has a rough road ahead. It will be interesting to see how apologetic Toyota leadership is. Will they blame themselves for overexpanding their capacity, particularly with trucks, or will they blame the “credit crunch” like most everyone else is?