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As part of it ongoing efforts to cut costs, Raley’s has laid off 153 workers at its West Sacramento, Calif., headquarters, according to a published report. The move came a week after the supermarket operator said it was eliminating the jobs of five top managers, among them the company’s COO and marketing head.
“This was the final step in a process that was necessary for us to compete in this new world,” CEO Michael Teel told the Sacramento Bee after meeting with terminated associates, who made up about one-quarter of the headquarters staff.
Teel, who took the helm of Raley’s in January, added that the layoffs were needed to reshape an organization that had grown unwieldy. “We’re not doing this out of desperation or financial crisis,” he clarified to the newspaper. “We have strong cash flow, but we want the flexibility and strength to react to the marketplace as it changes.”
Earlier this year, Teel reduced the hours of many store employees. On Friday, he informed the affected headquarters workers, who were allowed to gather their possessions before being sent home. At 1 p.m., the corporate offices closed, and all employees received the rest of the day off, to give remaining associates the chance to absorb the changes, explained Teel.
In compliance with WARN Act guidelines requiring notifications in advance of large job cuts, Raley’s has placed the 153 workers on a fully paid leave of absence for 60 days. When the leave is up, they’ll be able to collect severance payments of one week of pay for each year of service, with a 26-week cap.