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Eaton Lays Off More Than 5,000 Employees Worldwide

January 20, 2009
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Cleveland-based manufacturer Eaton Corp. said it’s laying off more than 5,000 people, or about 6 percent of its workforce, as a result of the global economic slowdown.

“We are reducing our global staffing level by about 5,200,” said Eaton spokeswoman Kelly Jasko. “This is a global impact, and the reason for it is to further align our cost structures with the weakening markets that we compete in.”

The layoffs will include about 60 employees at Eaton’s five locations in and around Cleveland, where the company employs about 800 people, Jasko said. Employees will be told in the next few weeks whether their jobs are being cut. Those affected will receive severance pay, the opportunity to continue their benefits and outplacement services, Jasko said.

Eaton makes hydraulic and other power management equipment and systems for a variety of markets, ranging from automotive to aerospace, all of which have been hit to varying degrees by the economic downturn. In all, Eaton employs about 80,000 people around the world. The company has 225 manufacturing facilities worldwide and sells products in more than 150 countries.

The recent cuts come on top of 3,400 layoffs Eaton announced in December, which also were spread around its operations worldwide. The announcement Tuesday comes less than a week before Eaton is set to release its quarterly and full-year financial results on January 26.

On December 16, Eaton announced it was lowering its guidance for fourth-quarter earnings. It told investors to expect earnings of between 90 cents and $1 per share, rather than the $1.70 to $1.80 per share that had been forecast previously by analysts.

Filed by Dan Shingler of Crain’s Cleveland Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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