Thursday, February 28, 2008

More buyout news and a company response

Hey folks,

This will probably be brief, because I'm running on empty here, but I wanted to bring everyone up to speed on the latest news regarding the layoffs and buyouts. Tomorrow will be the day that no one's looking forward to, but I've been impressed how well everyone's managed to stay focused. I could barely spell my name right in my byline, so your continued hard work is crazy.

In the morning and again in the afternoon, Kerry and I met with Jim Janiga from HR. In the morning, Ron joined us, in the afternoon, Vicki DiPaolo also represented the guild. Janiga seemed open and even contrite-- he apologized for not coming to us sooner and acknowledged that communication on the company's end had been poor. He blamed the sputtering economy for the company's woes and said it had to eliminate nearly $1 million from the budget to stem the money losses.

He said he'd ask the publisher to meet with the newsroom soon and more regularly and we stressed the need for open communication. If this company's going to get out of this horrible situation, it's going to need all the good ideas it can get its hands on. Hopefully, he'll come around soon and share the plan going forward and be receptive to new ideas.

Janiga said this would be the last cuts for the meantime and that the company would not freeze jobs going forward. If people quit following the layoffs, the laidoff employees will be the first offered their jobs back.

With that in mind, if you're thinking of leaving in the next month or so, but didn't want to volunteer on the super-tight timeframe today, come forward quickly-- you don't have to actually take the buyout or leave tomorrow, but let Ron or Melissa know so perhaps they can work something out. You could save someone's job, as I'm glad to see a few people have already done.

Alright folks, that's all I've got for this night-- more to come soon and thanks for everything. This is going to be a rough week, but you will get through this, no matter what.



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