Kodak to reduce workforce by 1,000 by end of 2012

Posted at: 09/10/2012 9:09 AM
Updated at: 09/10/2012 6:28 PM
By: Ray Levato

Eastman Kodak announced its cutting more jobs. The company expects to cut another 1,000 workers worldwide by the end of the year. This is in addition to the 2,700 already cut so far this year. There was also a shakeup with the leadership. Company president Philip Faraci and Chief Financial Officer Antoinette McCorvey stepped down Monday. 

How many Rochester area workers will be losing their jobs? Kodak isn’t saying right now. Kodak says it won’t break down the numbers locally until workers are actually let go and the New York State Department of Labor is officially notified. But the last figure that company gave for Rochester is the final 2011 employment number. In January, Kodak employed just 5,100 people in the area, down from more than 60,000 in the early 1980’s. 

Kodak uses the term "headcount reduction" and says the annual savings of this latest cost-cutting will be about $330 million. 

Twenty two year Kodak employee Andy Lawrence says the company's apparent inability to sell its portfolio of patents is hurting the company. 

Lawrence said, “It's unfortunate that we're in this position. And I believe Kodak has the right stuff in order to participate in the markets it wants to participate in, but without the cash it's going to be hard.” 

Brighton Securities’s George Conboy says Kodak is playing the same old recording we've heard before. 

Conboy said, “Continued disappointment in the incredible shrinking Kodak.” 

News10NBC asked Conboy about the Kodak statement that says quote – “an analysis of further operational and workforce reductions are underway.” 

Conboy said, “In English, our backs are against the wall. We can't operate the way we have.”

Conboy repeated his strong criticism of CEO Antonio Perez. 

Conboy said, “The butcher of State Street. Look at what's happened to revenues since 2005. Look at what's happened to profits since 2005. Shareholder dividends, stock price, number of employees, number of facilities. Any measure you want, Kodak's slope was straight down until January of this year when it went off a cliff.” 

News10NBC asked 30-year Kodak employee Joe Portanova, whose job was sold to Carestream Health several years ago, if it worked out well for him and his fellow Carestream employees.

Portanova, former Kodak employee, said, “Absolutely. Back in 2007 when Carestream Health was formed, it was an excellent solution for Kodak to sell off that business unit. At the time, it meant the same job, the same pay, similar benefits. And it was nice for these Kodak employees to bring over the years of service.”

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks says it's important to remember that our local economy is no longer defined by Kodak and she hopes that any local worker affected will be able to capitalize on the strength of our economy and find a new job as soon as possible.

Mayor Richards was not available Monday. In the past - Mayor Richards has said that bankruptcy is a painful process, but it's the best chance for Kodak to remain a sustainable company. The Rochester Business Alliance said it had no comment on this Monday.