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Friday, May 27, 2011

Layoffs Looming at Key? (Updated)

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 9:57 AM

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Update: Unfortunately, we were right on this one. It happened, right on the date we originally reported it might. The Plain Dealer had the details Wednesday on the 64 tech jobs that were cut.

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KeyCorp is a longtime Cleveland institution with a lengthy track record of repping the 216 and giving back.

But according to a source claiming to be close to the situation, the bank is readying to cut loose 50 percent of its information technology staff. The subsequent slack would be contracted to Cognizant, a Fortune 500 firm that outsources work to India. The carnage is supposedly happening around May 25.

KeyCorp representatives contacted by Scene denied that such a move is imminent.

“In the area of sourcing, we continue to explore ways to operate more effectively and grow in a challenging economy, but have not made specific decisions at this time,” Dan Davis, Key’s public relations manager for the Great Lakes Region, said in an e-mail. “In such circumstances, we would always inform any impacted employees first.”

This isn’t the first time layoff chatter has hit Key. Back in 2008, the bank admitted it was looking to eliminate somewhere between 200 and 400 stateside positions and send the work off to India, according to the Albany Times Union. Ultimately, only about 70 jobs were cut. The Plain Dealer reported at the time that the positions were in “technology software maintenance and small-project development,” and that Key offered severance packages and assistance with job placement. Cognizant was one of two firms hired to outsource the work left from the cuts. In all, Key has shed 1,700 employees over the last two years.

Last summer, U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich asked Key in a letter not to cut 200 technology jobs from the company’s offices in Brooklyn, a 2,000-employee technology and operations center. At the time, Kucinich said he’d confirmed from multiple sources that Key was planning to outsource the work to India, while bank reps said no decisions had been made.

Kucinich could not be reached for comment prior to press time.

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