Last summer, when Toyota (TM) temporarily shuttered three U.S. plants as part of a move to build more fuel-efficient vehicles and fewer large trucks, it won plaudits for not laying off employees. Instead, workers undertook extra training sessions, helped out at other plants, or even became involved in projects in the local community. Now, though, with the U.S. market showing few signs of recovery—Toyota's sales slumped 32% in January—and losses mounting, the Japanese automaker has no choice but to cut labor costs in the U.S. While no layoffs are planned, Toyota is offering buyouts to some of its 30,000 American employees, slashing bonuses, and cutting executive pay.

Bio Test

Jeffrey Gangemi is a communications and innovation strategist at Dun & Bradstreet. He was previously a staff writer for

The Good Business Issue

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