As companies reach maturity there really aren't many options other than HR reductions for controlling costs and satisfying the insane demands of stock markets for infinite growth.
If you take away the idea of infinite growth everything changes though. A private company can maintain employment levels and still have great profits because they can grow strategically, choosing the best way forward. Publicly traded companies can't grow strategically, they're forced to act tactically and retroactively with their only goals being financially oriented.
I'm not trying to excuse companies for treating people like shit, but I am saying that publicly traded companies have most of their other options removed by their boards and major shareholders. Even if management didn't want to fire people, the board or their Ichan would force the issue.
When your business is based only on financal performance the HR costs are an easy target. People are expensive and over a long period of employment they cost as much, or more, than the value of what they produce. Getting rid of some people is the quickest way to reach your forecasts.
As long as the insane idea of infinite growth is a thing there really isn't much to be done about things like this. It's all stupid and it all sucks.