Sizing Down: Chronicle of a Plant Closing

Louise Moser Illes, Author
Louise Moser Illes, Author ILR Press $40 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87546-351-3
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-8014-8434-6
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As a slice of history, docudrama and how-to manual, Sizing Down is top-notch. Illes was human resources manager at the Signetics semiconductor plant in Orem, Utah, when, in January 1992, she was notified that the plant would close at the end of the year. It became her task to assist with orchestrating the phaseout of 900 jobs, including her own. She took notes, recording the reactions of stunned workers, managers and a community faced with the loss of its fourth-largest employer. Employees began to leave for other jobs, but the plant needed to retain enough of them to maintain production and profitability through 1992. Bonuses were awarded to those who resisted competing offers and stayed on until the end. Throughout the inevitable juggling of interests, judgments had to be made, some good, some bad, says the author. This relentlessly objective history records them all, along with afterthoughts on how the situation might have been handled better. (Apr.)
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