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Nielsen to lay off more workers in Oldsmar, Dunedin

Nielsen Co. announced 170 more layoffs at its Oldsmar facility Tuesday.

This will bring the total number of reductions at the company to 402 since 2007.

Nielsen is also planning a staff realignment in Dunedin that will lead to more layoffs there, too.

In Oldsmar, Nielsen is outsourcing more work to India-based Tata Consultancy Services, company spokesman Gary Holmes said Tuesday. Some of the work formerly done in Oldsmar will now be transferred to India.

Nearly 40 employees were told Tuesday that they will lose their jobs in 30 days. The rest will be phased out by early 2009.

"We are transferring some of our data processing and software testing to TCS," Holmes said. "This is part of our companywide effort to integrate and simplify our systems, improve quality, strengthen our market position and create investment funding for future growth."

Just four days ago, Nielsen gave up $3.1-million in future incentives for creating new jobs in Oldsmar, saying the controversy over the government money had become a distraction for employees and a source of conflict with the city.

Nielsen brought 1,233 employees with it from Dunedin to Oldsmar in a company relocation that started in 2003. At its height, the Oldsmar site had about 1,800 employees. But when the layoffs are completed, 1,300 will remain.

So the millions in incentives that Florida, Pinellas County and Oldsmar have paid to Nielsen to create new high-wage jobs in Oldsmar will amount to 67 additional local Nielsen employees on the payroll in 2009.

Oldsmar Mayor Jim Ronecker said he hates to see local workers lose their jobs but that Nielsen also has invested $130-million in its headquarters and pays taxes that benefit the city.

At Nielsen's call center in Dunedin, Holmes said, the company is creating 100 more full-time positions to provide custom research services by September. There are 190 full-time workers there now. The 840 part-time and temporary employees there may apply for the new positions, but an undetermined number will lose their jobs.

For many Nielsen employees and their families, anxiety is growing.

A man who asked that his name not be used called a Times reporter Tuesday to say that his wife was waiting to hear whether she will be laid off.

"I'll know when I pick up the phone — whether she's crying or not," he said.

Theresa Blackwell can be reached at tblackwell@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4170.

>>FAST FACTS

Nielsen's reductions

117: Jobs lost in 2007 to company restructuring

115: Jobs outsourced to India's TCS in late 2007 and in 2008

170: Additional jobs going to TCS in 2008/early 2009

15 : Percentage of Nielsen's Oldsmar work to be outsourced by 2009

Nielsen to lay off more workers in Oldsmar, Dunedin 06/24/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 1, 2008 3:50pm]

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