Monday, May 4, 2020

Waters cuts salaries, furloughs workers

Also in this week's issue of C&EN, this news from Craig Bettenhausen (emphasis mine):  
First-quarter sales at Waters were down 10%, to $465 million, prompting the instrumentation firm to cut salaries, delay capital projects, furlough workers, freeze hiring, and cancel stock buybacks. Waters’s instrument sales were hardest hit, down 20% versus the first quarter of 2019. Geographically, China led the overall sales decline with a 48% drop. Executives will take pay cuts of 20–40% for 90 days. Other staff face 10% pay cuts and furloughs for at least the same period.
That doesn't bode well for hiring at Waters, although I don't know what their hiring trends have been recently. It will be important to see what other firms are doing (I note that in Melody Bomgardner's Dow and BASF writeups that Dow is cancelling some capital projects and BASF's leadership are taking pay cuts.) This bears watching.  


  1. Thermo Fisher also has cut employee salaries by at least 5% across the board for 90 days, with some layoffs

  2. Why salary cuts? It's kind of like tax increases for cities and states - dealing with a temporary crisis with permanent measures seems disproportionate, unless it's "because we can" (salary cuts tend to permanently lower wages in a way that won't be made up unless you start over somewhere else - and I assume they think that's not going to be possible or easy). Even in that case, it tends to make people sort of bitter, which was why people debated last recession whether layoffs, furloughs, or pay cuts were the least harmful way to save money.

    It seems like in both cases (governments and companies) you'd want something temporary but proportionate to make up the shortfall - a temporary assessment, maybe for cities and states, and a temporary pay cut or furlough. Particularly when you're going to expect more from people, a pay cut seems counterproductive, and the fear of losing your job and comfort that you haven't will only go so far.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20