Companies run into tough spots all the time. Sometimes, the result is layoffs. Staffing goes down, but often times it goes back up as the business cycle picks up. So goes the business world. It's ugly, but it's capitalism.
Sometimes though, a company badly bumbles the whole rightsizing thing. Remember the whole Circuit City reorganization thing from earlier this year? To refresh you, that's the one where the retailer laid off 3,400 experienced employees due to expense concerns, but said they would be eligible for rehire after a couple of months at a lower rate of pay. Ugh.
Guess what time it is 8 months later? Time to make the rehire offers at a lower rate of pay. From the Wall St. Journal coverage:
"A spokesman for the consumer-electronics retailer said that workers discharged in March are among former employees who have received letters inviting them to apply for positions either created by new store openings or routine turnover.
Circuit City has been criticized by employee advocates and some Wall Street analysts for cutting some of its highest paid, and in some cases, most experienced, employees in the layoffs this year.
Company spokesman Bill Cimino said Circuit City has overhauled job responsibilities for all of its roughly 43,000 employees this year to try to improve customer service, making it difficult to compare current openings with former jobs.
Current job openings are largely for two types of employees: "product specialists," who concentrate on sales, and members of the "product flow team," who accept product deliveries and arrange merchandise displays. Before Circuit City's restructuring this year, associates were responsible for both selling and stocking the retail floor. The new structure also gives workers more opportunities for advancement, he said."
Even after 8 months, it's still hard to get my head around this one. Rehires of laid-off employees happens all the time, and it's a good source of talent when business picks back up. But rehires of laid-off employees at a lower rate of pay? How can that end well? I can't imagined a more disgruntled group of employees than those who are rehired at the lower rate of pay.