With Obama Reelected, Will There Be Mass Layoffs?

Obama layoffs

In the lead-up to this election, several CEOs sent email blasts to their staff, urging them to vote for Mitt Romney or brace for a bloodbath of layoffs. But with Barack Obama now president for another four years, will these employers or others follow through on their warnings? Fox News thinks so, announcing in a headline on their website Friday, "Obama Reelection Triggers Massive Layoffs Across America." But so far that claim seems very unlikely.

The CEOs of Westgate Resorts (pictured above), ASG Software Solutions, uniform-maker Cintas Corp., and paper company Georgia-Pacific all gave slightly different reasons why an Obama victory might threaten their employees' livelihoods, including regulations, taxes, expenses from the new health care law, and the general state of the economy. But all of them agreed that another four years of Obama would slash their profit margin, and that pain would inevitability trickle down to their workers.

More: ING To Cut 2,350 Jobs-- And Doesn't Rule Out More Layoffs

One purported Las Vegas employer, who refused to give his real name, told Las Vegas radio station KXNT that he laid off 22 of his 114 employees after Obama's reelection, saying that he needed to free up some cash to cover the additional health care expenses. And the day after Obama's reelection, Murray Energy, the country's largest private coal company, laid off 156 workers, explaining in a Tuesday press release that Obama and his regulators were killing the market for coal (this was the single example given by Fox News).

One of the laid-off employees took to the anonymous forum Reddit, writing: "I've seen how corrupt the company can be over the years and am fairly certain the layoffs are just a way to make the President look bad." Inc.com pointed out that the coal company's production has actually been on the rise.

None of the CEOs who made public declarations before the election seem to have done what their employees feared. David Siegel, the billionaire founder and CEO of Florida-based Westgate Resorts, has already publicly backtracked. Siegal (pictured above) sent an email to his employees Wednesday explaining that he never actually intended to lay off anyone in an Obama second term, reports Orlando station WKMG, and that the media took his comments out of context. He actually gave everybody in the company a raise this week, telling Businessweek that this was "to help them handle the additional burdens the government will put on them."

More: What Obama's Win Means For Jobs, Investing, Homebuying [Live Chat]

James Green, a labor historian at University of Massachusetts Boston, can't think of any recent example of employers actually laying off staff in response to a presidential election. It certainly happened back in the first few decades of the 20th century, he said. But those were days when textile and tobacco employers really ran their towns, and the lives of the people who called them home. "The company towns have gone away," says Green. "But the people who owned them are still around."

While certain corporations may see extra expenses in the coming years, Obama is really a "Wall Street Democrat," according to Green, who won't be launching the second-term assault on big business that some CEOs seem to imagine.

"There was an unprecedented desperation on behalf of the financial elite in this country to stave off Obama's reelection in this country," Green says. "And with the economy the way it was, they had every expectation they could do that."






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Filed under: Employment News, Layoffs

Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at claire.gordon@teamaol.com. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.

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ectullis

Already started

February 23 2013 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
xjlr126

Better a greety 1% then a communist president,

January 19 2013 at 12:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to xjlr126's comment
ectullis

Muslim

February 23 2013 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
himinamis

Maybe Obama will give those who were laid off Government Jobs. Don't hold your breath. Obama will be the plague of the century before his tenure is through. What a waste of human flesh...

January 19 2013 at 10:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
llbeanesr

Now there is a perfect example of what is wrong why our country. Now you have Americans and then you have Republicans. What a shame. We need the Republican party of Ronald Reagan back again. They made sense. The George Bush republicans do not.

January 19 2013 at 9:59 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ectullis

Already started.

January 02 2013 at 7:51 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
kentusm

You liberals, socialist and communist are wrong again. They won't lay off employees and union members - they will just move the entire company to Mexico or some other country. Why fight the stupid people, just take all your toys and go somewhere else.. Ya all know no idea what you have done. Other countries will love to have the jobs. I'm sure they will also have hard working employees who will appreciate a job.

December 11 2012 at 10:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rxpharmd

I own a company with less than 50 employees. It seems that is the magic number for Obamacare unless things change mid stream. I have friends who have businesses with more than 50. They have told me that there is no doubt that they will lay off workers to get below the magic number. I tend to believe them because if I did have more than 50, I'd be doing everything I could to get to 49.

November 12 2012 at 3:47 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
ianmcdonald357

If large companies lay off workers in large numbers, they are esentially killing off their own customers. Workers are what fuels buisness by consuming products and services. The workers you fire, stop patronizinf other buisnsesses, and the workers other buisnesses fire stop patronizing YOUR buisness. All because they no longer have the funds to do so. Profit margins may shrink, but they will disapear if they start this nonesense. It all really boils down to banks lending money again. RESPONSIBLY that is. WHen people can borrow, they spend. when they spend, businseses make profits. When buisnesses make profits, they pay workers. When workers get paid, they repay loans. Its a scary cycle, but that's basically the only way to get things rolling again. I'm not speaking of the mass lending frenzy that started the subprime loans issue, but long before that, this is how things worked.

Not a perfect world, but better than the one we are going through right now. If you disagree, I'm open for discussion, but if you only have a snark remark to reply with, we will not make any headway on this debate.

November 12 2012 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
faithrada

Will there be mass layoffs? Only if people are foolish enough to believe that the 1% is thier friend. Wake Up people and smell the oil.

November 12 2012 at 12:40 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Peter Brown

They will have to rehire and find new employees once the GOP stops gumming up the works. This will be fueked by the taxes these sick ***** will have to pay now that Bush is finally laid to rest with a stake through his murderous and grasping heart.

November 12 2012 at 12:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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