3M cuts 1,200 jobs worldwideby Annie Baxter, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Maplewood-based 3M says today that it has cut 1,200 jobs from its worldwide workforce in the first quarter of the year. A spokeswoman says less than half the cuts are in the U.S., and several hundred of those jobs are in Minnesota, where 3M employs 15,000 workers.
The spokeswoman says 300 cuts affect 3M's industrial and transportation division. In addition, 3M's health information systems and occupational health and safety divisions also had layoffs.
In 2008, 3M gave pink slips to 3,500 jobs in its global workforce. Chief Executive Officer George Buckley suggested last year that more cuts could be in the offing.
On Minnesota Public Radio's Midday program, Buckley told host Gary Eichten he would not rule out the possibility of additional cuts. But Buckley added that 3M does need to keep its workforce strong enough to generate growth when the global recession ends.
Buckley also told Eichten that he perceives the Minnesota business environment as "tough" and opened the question of whether 3M would remain headquartered in Minnesota.
In a follow-up interview, Buckley backed off that claim and articulated his frustration with what he sees as a high tax environment. He supports Gov. Tim Pawlenty's idea of scaling back the corporate income tax.