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Hurt by Weak Film Sales, Kodak Trims Work Force


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#1 Tim Tyler

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:03 AM

http://www.nytimes.c...;ref=technology

The Eastman Kodak Company said Thursday it was cutting 3,500 to 4,500 jobs, or 14 percent to 18 percent of its work force, as it posted a fourth-quarter loss of $137 million on plunging sales of both digital and film-based photography products. Its stock tumbled nearly 30 percent.

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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:14 AM

Shocker . . .

The way things are going, it'll be a surprise if they don't go belly up, along with the rest of us.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 31 January 2009 - 12:16 AM.

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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:31 AM

While I have always had minor issues with the Yellow God, I don't want it to die. Please, don't die, oh, Yellow God.
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#4 Ira Ratner

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 10:31 AM

Kodak has been consistent throughout the last 25 years--consistently wrong.

Aside from film, they totally lagged behind everyone when it came to digital, and their industrial stuff was barely enough to sustain them.

But it's like every 5 years, you hear about their massive layoffs, yet they're still around.
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#5 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 01:47 PM

Perhaps they should offer Look Manager as a freebie to DP's that are clearly bringing them sales in order to help us demonstrate film even more efficiently as a capture medium.
Also R&D towards emulsions that have a bit more "character" instead of the "grainless neutrality" native to the V word.
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#6 Richard Boddington

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 04:29 PM

Every year even in the best of times Kodak is laying people off, you have to wonder....how many freaking employees do they have?

They should have run out of people to lay off ten years ago!

In a related story, just once in my life I'd like to see a news headline, FLASH: Giant company hires 5, 000 workers. Oddly the media never reports on people getting jobs, only losing them.

R,
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 08:48 PM

In a related story, just once in my life I'd like to see a news headline, FLASH: Giant company hires 5, 000 workers. Oddly the media never reports on people getting jobs, only losing them.

R,


That's because, for the purposes of a dramatic daily news headline, most companies can sack a 1000 people in a day but they can't hire 1000 people in a day, and it's not as dramatic to say that "x" company will be hiring up to 1000 new people over the course of a year. But they do report such things, it's just not front page news.

The news is show business and people like to read dramatic short-term news, not about long-term developments. Companies tend to expand more slowly than they contract. The creation and expansion of a company can take months and years, but the collapse can take just days.

The other thing to remember is that half this news is to put out to manipulate stocks, and Wall St. tends to reward companies that say they are trimming their workforce, as long as it doesn't look like their last gasp before going under.
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 09:34 PM

That's because, for the purposes of a dramatic daily news headline, most companies can sack a 1000 people in a day but they can't hire 1000 people in a day, and it's not as dramatic to say that "x" company will be hiring up to 1000 new people over the course of a year. But they do report such things, it's just not front page news.

The news is show business and people like to read dramatic short-term news, not about long-term developments. Companies tend to expand more slowly than they contract. The creation and expansion of a company can take months and years, but the collapse can take just days.

The other thing to remember is that half this news is to put out to manipulate stocks, and Wall St. tends to reward companies that say they are trimming their workforce, as long as it doesn't look like their last gasp before going under.


Yep. Makes you wonder though what kind of business can layoff 1000 people in a single day and stay in business. I mean what where those 1000 people doing at that company? Their work was so un-important that the company can kick them out the door and still function?

Pretty amazing.

Kodak again always amazes me, they seem to be in a perpetual state of laying off people since the early 1980s. I was a Super 8 film tester for Kodak FYI in the early 80s. I still have the projector they gave me and use it on a regular basis. Quite the weird machine, projects the film out of the center of this rectangle shaped device via a mirror as the film passes through the middle. They had a lot of strange gear back then.

R,
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#9 Jim Carlile

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 12:50 AM

Actually, if you look at the specifics, these headlines are a lie.

In reality, the FILM business is the only part of the company that made money this last quarter-- it turned a profit. Sales were down-- as in all divisions-- but it MADE money!

This fact, though, doesn't fit the corporate spin, that film is a loser. This year it certainly was not-- celluloid is Kodak's bread and butter, still.
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#10 Ira Ratner

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 10:57 AM

Good Kodak story:

1970 or so, and I was 14. The Fotomat processing chain had been becoming popular, and I used them:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fotomat

Well, they mis-cut a roll of transparency film and gave me an apology, to which I went ballistic. At that time, their booths were yellow and RED (instead of blue) and they displayed a large "Kodak" sign on top, since they sold Kodak film. So any reasonable person assumed this was a Kodak company.

I wrote to Kodak to complain (I was looking for some free rolls or something because that WAS an important roll, a school project), and they contacted me to sign an affidavit so they could take Fotomat to court. They were going to send someone down from Rochester to Brooklyn to meet with me. (Since then, the booths were changed to yellow and blue, and no more Kodak sign.)

Anyway, when the guy arrived at my (parents') house to take me out to lunch and get the thing signed, I don't think he expected it to be a kid. We took care of business, I was happy with just McDonald's, and then he asked me what kind of film I liked.

It was Kodachrome 25, he opened up his trunk, and my jaw dropped. It was a film-lover's paradise stocked to the brim with film.

He handed me a brick (don't remember how many rolls were/are in a brick), and that was my very special Kodak moment.
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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 11:25 AM

As regards employment rates, the local council in the town where I live has been shedding people for the last couple of months. I have an inside source there, and the revelation is that most of it is coming out of the legal and administrative departments who did very little except produce paperwork whose importance seems to be directly proportional to its affordability.

P
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#12 Paul Bruening

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 11:39 AM

As regards employment rates, the local council in the town where I live has been shedding people for the last couple of months. I have an inside source there, and the revelation is that most of it is coming out of the legal and administrative departments who did very little except produce paperwork whose importance seems to be directly proportional to its affordability.

P


I've worked for the local university a few times through my life. You'd be shocked how many jobs are simply "created" or "justified" bureaucratically. They exist for no other reason than they have manifest entirely through paperwork and self-justification. They are jobs often occupied by professional bureaucrats who, in effect, gold mine public monies. I suspect large corporations have the same kind of people.

Humans are very clever at all things survival.
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#13 K Borowski

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 04:37 PM

Kodak again always amazes me, they seem to be in a perpetual state of laying off people since the early 1980s. I was a Super 8 film tester for Kodak FYI in the early 80s. I still have the projector they gave me and use it on a regular basis. Quite the weird machine, projects the film out of the center of this rectangle shaped device via a mirror as the film passes through the middle. They had a lot of strange gear back then.

R,


Richard, what you're saying only semi-seriously is, in fact, the case. Kodak's workforce peaked at about 140,000 in 1988. It's down to *19,000* now! :huh:
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#14 Richard Boddington

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 05:23 PM

Richard, what you're saying only semi-seriously is, in fact, the case. Kodak's workforce peaked at about 140,000 in 1988. It's down to *19,000* now! :huh:


Wow they have 19,000 people left? Holy cow I thought they'd have only about 1, 900 left :huh:

In a related story did you all see the headlines today about how the Wall Street banks where applying for a record number of H1 Visas to bring in foreign workers when they where tossing Americans out the door by the thousands.

What's happening to the USA? This is the kind of stupidity we are all used to in Canada, heck we expect it, but in the USA?

R,
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#15 K Borowski

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 05:27 PM

Wow they have 19,000 people left? Holy cow I thought they'd have only about 1, 900 left :huh:


Richard, that is 19,000 *worldwide*, which is pretty miniscule considering Kodak is an international company.

IDK who you've been talking to, but the U.S. has always been screwed up, just in completely different ways from Canada.
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#16 Richard Boddington

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 05:57 PM

IDK who you've been talking to, but the U.S. has always been screwed up, just in completely different ways from Canada.


Well I'm talking about states that decide they want to start their own country and the US gov't saying, "no you can't do that, it's WAR!!" The separatists states are defeated, end of story.

In Canada we give the separatists millions of dollars in tax money, let them hold seats in parliament, and we let it go on for decades with no end in sight. Now who's more screwed up?

R,
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#17 Tony_Beazley

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 06:26 PM

Things are getting hairy in the US....none of us know from day to day what will happen with our economy (except for the ones who got us here in the first place ) ...I'd say we are both screwed.

Being a freelancer in these times are not good right now... :(
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#18 Richard Boddington

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 06:47 PM

Things are getting hairy in the US....none of us know from day to day what will happen with our economy (except for the ones who got us here in the first place ) ...I'd say we are both screwed.

Being a freelancer in these times are not good right now... :(


I don't want to add to the bleakness I am trying to remain optimistic that things will turn around at some point. But I am reaching the point where I no longer want to answer my phone. I am getting so many calls from people who have not worked in the film industry for so long that they are just desperate for money.

I suppose I get calls because people know I initiate projects and will therefore at some point need a crew, I dunno?

It's getting so bad I am just about at the end of my rope. I feel bad, but I have no idea what to do?

R,
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#19 Matthew Buick

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 08:27 AM

I'm actually amazed this didn't happen months ago, while people are having trouble making enough for the most simple requirements of modern life I can't see them buying costly celluloid film. This recession I feel is pretty bad news for the celluloid film industry in general. If anywhere is going to go first I'd say it would be the Super 8mm department, followed by the 35mm stills department. All rather worrying, as I'm a user of both.

Has Fuji expressed any concerns over stability recently?

Edited by Matthew Buick, 02 February 2009 - 08:28 AM.

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#20 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 01:07 PM

Well I'm talking about states that decide they want to start their own country and the US gov't saying, "no you can't do that, it's WAR!!" The separatists states are defeated, end of story.

In Canada we give the separatists millions of dollars in tax money, let them hold seats in parliament, and we let it go on for decades with no end in sight. Now who's more screwed up?

R,


At least Canada is not borrowing money from China to pretty much run 2 wars and much of the national internal domestic spending. :blink:

A few years ago, The Onion had a story called "Bankrupt US sold to China." Well, it's turning out to be "Bankrupt US owned by China."
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