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AMERICAN MORNING

'Minding Your Business'

Aired January 7, 2004 - 08:49   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Workers are still feeling some of the aftershocks of the bursting of the dot-com bubble.
Andy Serwer is "Minding Your Business."

What's up?

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Indeed, we're going to do a whole jobs report here this morning, Jack, and unfortunately some layoffs to talk about.

Let's start off with Earthlink. The No. 3 ISP after AOL and MSN with five million customers is going to be announcing about 1,300 layoffs, outsource, Jack, overseas, going to India, Pakistan and Jamaica. I guess these employees aren't exactly feeling any one love this morning, though, with that one. Sorry about that.

OK, Kraft. CNN/Money Web site reporting Kraft could be laying off up to 10 percent of its workers. The food giant did not have a great year last year, Jack. The stock was down about 16 percent, so maybe not a huge surprise. They make all kinds of goodies, including these Chips Ahoy cookies here.

CAFFERTY: I like them.

SERWER: Nabisco, remember they bought Nabisco a couple of years ago.

CAFFERTY: They used to be bigger, didn't they?

(CROSSTALK)

SERWER: Sorry, Bill.

CAFFERTY: Didnít they used to be bigger?

SERWER: Only two. Yes, they did used to be bigger, so they've been downsizing.

(CROSSTALK)

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Does that come with milk?

SERWER: No, I didn't bring the milk, Bill. Sorry about that.

And lastly, this is pretty amazing here. Dan River, the textile company out of Danville, Virginia -- you may remember "Dan River runs deep." Remember those commercials? Closing down a plant in Sevierville, Tennessee, and some of the goodies that they gave the employees -- there are some of the things they make, those GI Joe sheets. I kind of like those.

Some of the goodies they were giving to workers on the way out the door kind of teed them off, OK? Not exactly a severance package, but just gifts they were giving them on the way out of the door, including Barbie dolls.

So, you're telling these people you're closing the plant down, you guys lost your job, here are some Barbie dolls for you on the way out the door.

CAFFERTY: Not exactly a golden parachute.

SERWER: No. They also gave them a company plaque and they gave them a calculator maybe to calculate how much money they are losing, and also a $100 card to Wal-Mart. The company says we're actually are giving you real benefits. These are just things we had, and we're giving them to you to be nice. There is the shopping cart.

But, you know, there is something that kind of would rub me the wrong way getting a Barbie doll as I was losing my job. Wouldn't you say?

O'BRIEN: Yes, it's weird.

SERWER: Well, yes, it's weird.

CAFFERTY: What you might be inclined to try to do with it at the time of presentation.

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