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July 25, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

McDonnell Douglas Corp’s latest cost-cutting measure has enraged staff at the Douglas Aircraft Company in St Louis, Missouri. Their IBM Profs electronic mail system was closed down last week in an attempt to save the company up to $700m by January 1991. Computerworld says that Douglas Aircraft’s Profs system linked 22,000 of the company’s 47,000 employees, and that they are now reliant on the already-rationalised mailroom to deliver intra-company messages. Many users are nonplussed by this latest in a series of austerity measures, since the mainframe that runs Profs won’t be shut down, and the only perceivable gain will be some disk drive capacity. However, although Profs won’t be available, the VM/CMS messaging system could be still used for electronic mail services. Critical employees acknowledge the VM/CMS system could replace some of the functions of Profs, but they also point out that any savings in system resources brought about by the loss of Profs would be spent on the alter-native. Other cost-cutting measures over the past few months have included 3,000 lay-offs in May and sale of the Tymnet operation – to British Telecommunications Plc. Observers are expecting to see further redundancies this year, as the peace dividend brings nothing but woe to the benighted employees of heavily overstaffed defence contractors.

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