About 250 First Data Corp. workers around the world, including an undisclosed number in Omaha, were told Thursday they would be losing their jobs as the company ended or wound down certain internal projects.
About 1 percent of First Data’s 25,000 workers faced layoffs.
“This is a rebalancing of our workforce as business needs change,” said Elizabeth Grice, director of communications.
Grice said about 5,000 people work in Omaha, but she didn’t know precisely how many would lose their jobs. If 1 percent of the workforce were applied across the board, it would be about 50 people in Omaha.
“All employees losing their jobs will be eligible to receive severance benefits and outplacement services,” Grice said.
Atlanta-based First Data, which processes electronic transactions for retail stores and financial institutions around the world, has its largest operations center in Omaha, employing people at several sites around the city. Operations in Omaha include embossing and printing credit and debit cards, processing transactions made on the cards, and printing and mailing bills to cardholders.
First Data has met with stiff competition in recent years from third-party processing companies and a shift by major card-issuers, such as the country’s biggest banks, to doing their own processing.
The company has been losing money in recent quarters, and operating profit in the Omaha division has dropped.
First Data reports its third quarter results today.
First Data was founded in Omaha and acquired by American Express in 1980. It was spun off as a publicly traded company in 1992 but returned to private hands about two years ago in an acquisition by New York investment group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
About 400 people at First Data in Omaha were laid off in 2008, according to several workers who spoke last year on the condition that they not be named. First Data officials confirmed that jobs were cut but declined to release specifics. In November 2007, about 300 Omaha workers lost their jobs as part of a 6 percent companywide reduction.
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