North Pole, Inc. today announced drastic workforce reductions and re-alignment of strategic assets, following years of stagnant revenues. Analysts had expected spending cuts for several months but not this close to Christmas. The US Elf on a Shelf Division is taking the hardest hit, with over 30% of the elves being laid off starting Dec. 26.
"We need to optimize our resources geographically around our customers," Santa Claus explains. "Many of the elves will be offered more flexible part-time, on-call positions."
There is a great deal of speculation around the changes occurring at North Pole, Inc. When reporters questioned the need for the layoffs, Claus simply stated that North Pole, Inc. was adjusting resources to better serve its customers. Industry analysts have long suspected gift cards and cash have sapped revenues from North Pole, Inc.'s top line numbers.
Some fear that rising elf-employee healthcare costs are driving the changes. Elves live for a very long time. With over 500 employees in the US, North Pole, Inc. is legally required to offer healthcare to all US employees in 2013. These health benefits will impact profits.
Senator John McCain appeared on CNN following the announcement. "Obamacare is killing Christmas. How dare we put sick people or elves ahead of gift giving? Don't the Democrats know what Christmas is all about?", said Mr. McCain. He then went on to ask for US military intervention in support of Ukrainian protestors.