WaMu announces 1,600 Bay Area job cuts

November 20, 2008 11:46:14 PM PST
More distressing economic news came on Thursday with the announcement that 1,600 Washington Mutual employees in the Bay Area will be losing their jobs soon. Four hundred of the layoffs will be in San Francisco and the other 1,200 will be in Pleasanton at WaMu's call center.

The announcement came in afternoon meetings with employees at Washington's Mutual's sprawling five-building campus in Pleasanton. That is, that all of the 1,200 jobs were being eliminated and the entire facility closed by next spring. The official layoff notices will be delivered to employees December 1st. Most will get a 60-day notice, meaning they'll have jobs until the end of January.

At WaMu's San Francisco operations center, 400 positions will be eliminated.

The Bay Area layoffs come after WaMu announced as many as 3,000 jobs will be cut in their Seattle offices.

"There's going to be a lot of people laid off at the same time and a lot of people looking for jobs and there is a lot of uncertainty right now," Jeanie Bailer, a WaMu employee in Seattle.

ABC7 chose not to air several on-camera interviews with Pleasanton WaMu employees, after being informed by some, that they were warned by WaMu management their jobs would be eliminated immediately, if they spoke to the media.

Restaurant owner Eddie Westmoreland told ABC7 he'll miss the customers from the WaMu complex, just two blocks away.

"Yes it will hurt our business, but hopefully someone else will come in a year from now and fill that building. And we'll just have to take good care of them," said Eddie Westmoreland, a restaurant owner.

The WaMu layoffs come three years after Pleasanton lost 650 jobs at PeopleSoft, following its takeover by Oracle.

David Stark represents the Bay East Association of Realtors, which includes Pleasanton.

"The Tri-Valley region in general is very attractive for employers so we would hope that those folks that are affected by this decision by WaMu can find employment either in Pleasanton, or in the Tri-Valley in general," said Stark.

WaMu claims these layoffs will have no impact on their banking customers in the Bay Area. They said the workload in Pleasanton will be transferred to the company's other facilities in Chicago and Texas.


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