Washington Mutual to Lay Off 1,400 Workers in Wash., Fla.

Washington Mutual Inc. (WM), the nation's largest savings and loan, has notified 1,400 workers in Washington and Florida that they will lose their jobs as part of the company's cost-saving strategy.

About 850 workers at the company's call center in the Seattle suburb of Canyon Park were told Tuesday they will be laid off by the end of July, spokeswoman Darcy Donahoe-Wilmot said. An additional 550 workers at a similar center in Jacksonville, Fla., also were told they will be laid off — some by July 21 and others by Sept. 29.

The work will be shifted to facilities in Albion, N.Y.; Milwaukee, and Manila in the Philippines, Donahoe-Wilmot said. It hasn't been determined how many jobs will go to each location, but "it's not the majority" going overseas, she said.

Donahoe-Wilmot said the layoffs were "part of our strategy announced last year to move back-office jobs to lower-cost locations."

In November, the company said it planned to increase the number of offshore jobs from about 1,600 then to about 6,000 by the end of 2007, she said.

Employees will be offered a severance package and assistance in finding other jobs, either inside Washington Mutual or with other companies, she said.

Washington Mutual employs about 60,000 people nationwide.