Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Time to Come Together


After all the angst over layoffs and realignment in the last month, I know the last thing most of us want to think about is more job strife. But, as we all know in the newspaper business, things never let up and life is never easy. While we survived the latest storm and y'all have done an amazing job of putting out the paper and growing the Web site under tough conditions, our journey isn't over yet.

Several of you have mentioned this story on the Huffington Post to me recently and someone posted an anonymous comment on the blog worrying that we'd be the next target of MediaNews Group's cost-cutting attacks on its workers. It's not an unfounded worry, either. This company can be absolutely ruthless in its methods of trying to make a dollar and we're definitely monitoring the situation to the North carefully.

Let me put some fears to rest, however. We don't believe there's any imminent threat to our jobs or livelihoods here at the Daily News, owing to our strong partnership and mutual respect with management. On the union level, we're also reaching out to our brothers and sisters in Northern California and I've spoken with both our local president and representatives from the Guild about the situation. We're all working together to make sure the company realizes it will be best served by working with its employees for mutual benefit rather than driving them away. I have full confidence that we'll succeed.

And while that reassures me, we can't do it alone. We'll need you.

There are two things you can do to help us keep this paper alive and bring back some measure of sanity to this industry. First off, keep doing the great work you're currently producing. No matter how challenging things get, you always do an amazing job with very little to work with. Your dedication and craftsmanship is our saving grace.

Secondly, you can join the union. To those of you who've already signed up, thank you, you're the strength that keeps us going. To those of you who haven't come aboard yet, please help us.

In the past year, our scrappy, little gang at the Daily News has seen its greatest challenges since we started turning things around six years ago. But we've also met those challenges and lived to see some of our greatest successes. Throughout all the cutbacks and chaos, we've managed to stick up for you hard-working folks who put out the paper every day. We've worked with management to minimize the damage, help folks who've lost their jobs, incorporate new technology and skills into our work and, most importantly, helped bring about a more positive, creative atmosphere.

If we're going to keep fighting our way down this road, we need your help. The more creative minds we get working on how to stay afloat in the future, the easier the task will be.

So sure, things are a long way from perfect right now and the industry conditions are far from ideal. But just as we labor together to put out a great paper, we can join again to keep it alive. Please join us in our mission to help us all.



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