WaMu to lose 93% of PR unit

CHICAGO: JPMorgan Chase will be laying off 42 out of 45 corporate communications staffers at recently acquired Washington Mutual.

CHICAGO: JPMorgan Chase will be laying off 42 out of 45 corporate communications staffers at recently acquired Washington Mutual.

The layoffs were among the 9,200 overall staffers cut at WaMu last week, according to Tom Kelly, head of regional and retail media relations. On December 1, 33 communications staffers received 60 days' notice that their jobs would be eliminated at the end of January. Nine employees will depart at different times throughout 2009 based on the completion of various projects. Three WaMu staff members will stay on in the same capacity.

The cuts stem from the consolidation of the two communications staffs, with the biggest impact being felt in Seattle, where WaMu is based.

The company had communications functions that JPMorgan houses in other areas. All communications staffers are now on weekly calls so media teams can interact on projects and announcements, said Kelly.

All WaMu staff staying through July 1 will get severance packages and a bonus equal to their regular pay from October to the point of their departure. Kelly said the extra pay was offered out of fairness because “they are basically putting any job search on hold to help us do what we need to for our customers.”

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