To the employees (or former employees) who have emailed me, especially the person who emailed the fax, PLEASE contact your local media, or at least one of the front pagers on this website. I'm not the MSM. I'm just an individual diarist/blogger and because I'm unfamiliar with the legality involved in posting certain types of information, I'm not comfortable going beyond this commentary. I IMPLORE you to be brave and tell what you know about the recent events happening over at the Bank. Thank you.
I just got a call from a friend who works in HR at Bank Of America in Delaware. I wanted to diary this to add to the list of 'outrages' perpetuated by this bank. Just to clarify, they did nothing illegal. Just crappy. And it was probably naive of people to continue to work for a company based on what's been said as supposed to written contracts.
Today was a big layoff day for Bank Of America, but the media hasn't yet reported it. I will update this as soon as they do. (UPDATED BELOW) I don't have an exact number of the jobs lost today, but as soon as I get a number I'll post. I'm hesitant to guess at this point, as they are still in the process of letting people go until tomorrow.
So what makes this more cruel than their usual layoffs?
When Bank of America absorbed MBNA into it's organization, they gave away three year protection packages to long term and high ranking employees here which meant that if they were laid off within that three year period, they would gain an additional one month to a year of severance.
This package expired on December 31st of last year, and today, five weeks after expiration, a large amount of employees that fell under that umbrella of protection are being let go. The HR rep estimates that 90% of employees that were let go today fell under that category.
The HR rep is devastated. The company directed her to make promises to people that they failed to follow through on.
So, lets simplify this. Employees that stuck it out past the three year protection mark are, some of whom were promised promotions if they stayed on instead of taking another job or as I was told, in some cases given counter offers to other positions, are now being let go and screwed out of their packages a little over a month after it's expiration. I have no doubt that some former employees will speak out about this.
This was no accident, and as soon as delawareonline.com or another major news outlet reports on this, I will update this diary.
I don't know if many people realize it, but Bank of America is a huge employer here in Delaware. The fallout from yet another major round of layoffs won't be pretty.
BofA spokeswoman couldn't immediately be reached for comment, including on whether the layoffs were timed to a less-generous severance package that took effect after Jan. 1.
(The above line has since been removed, but you can find another version here.)
BofA was the biggest loser on the Dow, off 58 cents, or 8.8%, to 6.
And, most recently, the Bank of America spent millions of dollars on a Super Bowl party; they really don't get it.
Thanks to (as of now) former BOA employee K for the informative email: ATTENTION FACT POLICE - This is an email from an employee and should be taken as commentary to add to the discussion.
I wanted to share a little bit about what I know with you. I previously worked for MBNA in their Newark and Deerfield offices before Bank of America bought us out. I moved away to take a better position within BOA and I recently moved again for them. A huge portion of the Wealth Management division for Bank of America was laid off on January 9th, however no one has reported a single thing about it. THOUSANDS laid off nationwide. Even though the wealth managment sector posted a 65% increase to profit in 2008, it was cut to bring in a new business model that is centered around all of the Merrill Lynch brokers - the ones who lost BILLIONS for the company in 2008.
A comment from DKos member upstate ny refutes this:
The update which talks about the MBNA people being axed for Merrill Lynch people in the private client group is misinformation. I know because my brother was laid off from the PCG two weeks ago because BoA demanded cuts to all middle management in the group. As well, the brokers didn't lose that subprime money, the brokers weren't the ones dealing in CDOs, etc. In fact, the brokers were the only value Merrill Lynch has left, and they constitute the only reason BoA was interested in Merrill in the first place. After BoA realized the extent of the losses from the investment side of ML, they tried to back out of the deal and let ML collapse, but the Fed stepped in and sweetened things so the merger could stay on track.
Subsequently, BoA broke promises to the brokers who stayed on at ML by firing their support staff in the private client group, leaving them less able to service their longtime clients. All the middle managers in my brother's group making $150k to $200k were axed in favor of their trainee assistants who were working for $50k to $75k. The trainees have none of the contacts and none of the clients and relationships built over decades that the managers have. These are two person offices, one manager, one assistant.
This tells me two things. Either BoA believes that the trainees will take over the client contacts (highly doubtful) or they are maintaining the appearance of business as usual because deep down they believe the financial train is not going to get started again for years, and that the contacts built by people making $150k would calcify in that time. Therefore, keep up appearances, make brokers happy by making them THINK they have support, when in reality they have none, and bleed $75k less per worker.
Of course, upstate ny, expect to reply to demands of your brother's ss# and fingerprints for sourcing. : /
One email source gives a heads up to current employees. Again, an email, so to be taken as commentary.
I work at BOA in their Christiana office. I've processed memos directing HR personnel to "retain --- until after the package expiration" only weeks after having senior personnel entice the person to remain with the promise of relocation and often with a counter offer. The departments most affected by the coming cuts will be Technology, Internal Audit, Info Sec, and huge chunks at marketing. There will also be a large number of AVP cuts.
Can anyone clarify what AVP is? Is it a senior official? (Thanks to the commenters, AVP apparently means Assistant Vice President.)
UPDATE IV (or V? Whatever...)
Thanks to 1BQ:
The state severance law that requires notification of large layoffs or plant closings applies to companies that have been in Maine for three years or more. Bank of America finalized its purchase of MBNA on Jan. 1, 2006, which means the law apparently would apply. The law also requires companies with 100 or more employees to pay severance of a week's pay for each year worked if there is a large-scale job elimination or a plant shutdown.
The bank would not answer questions about the layoffs. In a mandatory notice filed with the town, the bank attributed them to its merger with Merrill Lynch, the big financial services firm, on Jan. 1.
I'm going to say this since it always happens when I end up on the rec' list for whatever reason, but this is a diary. By a diary, I mean that I am doing my best to inform a community I belong to of news that I get, as accurately as I can, with the sources I have, usually directly from someone involved.
I'm not a reporter. I, frankly, don't feel the need to provide dental records, sonograms, and a million links for every statement I make. Common sense would imply that when one reads a blog or a diary, one takes into account the source. And your source? Not a reporter. So my personal anecdotes WILL be included. DEAL.
I've done this once before, and I like to think I'm giving leads to those REAL reporters out there.
And, because I'm a good community citizen, when I get an updated fact I post it. When I have a mainstream link, I post it.