JPMorgan to lay off 3,400 WaMu workers in Seattle

altJPMorgan Chase said it will lay off 3,400 Washington Mutual employees in Seattle, about 81 percent of the bank’s local work force. Of those laid-off WaMu employees, 1,500 will leave the bank in the next 60 days while the remaining 1,900 will be placed on JPMorgan’s transition team. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is keeping about 800 Seattle employees. The company said it will lay off a total of 9,200 WaMu employees nationally, out of the company’s total work force of about 42,000. Of those workers, 4,000 will leave within the next 60 days and the remaining employees will be placed on JPMorgan’s transition team. Transition team employees will stay for varying lengths of time depending on the projects they are working on, with the longest duration lasting through 2009. Transition team employees will receive double salary for the remaining time they stay at the bank. All laid-off WaMu employees will be eligible for outplacement services and will receive lump-sum severance payments based on their years of service with the bank. JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon was in Seattle Monday and spoke Monday morning with about 125 local branch managers, which the company considers the “front line of the bank,” said Tom Kelly, JPMorgan spokesman. WaMu’s branch employees are not affected by the layoffs. Dimon will speak later Monday at the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce’s Community Development Roundtable and is expected to address JPMorgan’s plans for fulfilling WaMu’s charitable contributions across the Puget Sound Region.