You've got bad mail: RadioShack lays off 400 via e-mail

RadioShack Corp. of Fort Worth, Texas, notified about 400 workers by e-mail that they were being dismissed immediately as part of planned job cuts.

RadioShack Corp.notified about 400 workers by e-mail that they were being dismissed immediately as part of planned job cuts.

Employees at the Fort Worth headquarters got messages Tuesday morning saying: "The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated."

Company officials had told employees in a series of meetings that layoff notices would be delivered electronically, spokeswoman Kay Jackson said. She said employees were invited to ask questions before Tuesday's notification on a company intranet site.

Derrick D'Souza, a management professor at the University of North Texas, said he had never heard of such a large number of terminated employees being notified electronically. He said it could be seen as dehumanizing to employees.

"If I put myself in their shoes, I'd say, 'Didn't they have a few minutes to tell me?' " D'Souza said.

Laid-off workers got one to three weeks pay for each year of service, up to 16 weeks for hourly employees and 36 weeks for those with base pay of at least $90,000 US, the company said.

The company announced Aug. 10 that it would cut 400 to 450 jobs, mostly at headquarters, to cut expenses and "improve its long-term competitive position in the marketplace."

RadioShack has closed nearly 500 stores, consolidated distribution centres and liquidated slow-moving merchandise in an effort to shake out of a sales slump.