Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bee management proposes 34 layoffs in addition to salary cuts and possible furloughs... Guild will vote on proposal March 6

The Sacramento Bee Newspaper Guild held "heated negotiations" with Bee management late Friday regarding proposed layoffs, salary cuts and other reductions. According to Guild president Ed Fletcher, the Guild’s bargaining team agreed to take the company’s package to a vote without a recommendation from the Guild. Here are management's proposals:

  • No voluntary buyouts as in previous rounds
  • 34 layoffs in the bargaining unit (eight positions in advertising, 26 in the newsroom)
  • 3 percent salary cuts for those earning $25,000 to $50,000
  • 6 percent salary cuts for employees earning $50,000 and more
  • No change in salary for employees earning less than $25,000
  • Unpaid furloughs are a possibility, but none in the first half of 2009
  • Employee pensions frozen at the end of March
The Guild has agreed to put the proposal to a vote March 6. Ed Fletcher says Bee management gave few concessions and said without the proposal, additional layoffs are likely. "We have been told that a no vote will trigger high number of layoffs among us," he said.
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24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Friday’s tentative agreement is for 34 layoffs in the bargaining unit.


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So is there any word on the total number of layoffs including people not represented by, "The Bargaining Unit?"

McClatchy Watch said...

Non-Guild members are more at risk, seems to me. I noticed Ed Fletcher originally mentioned 50 to 70 or more layoffs at the Bee... the larger number might include non-Guild members.

Anonymous said...

The Guild has no real clout left. What can they say, we won’t accept the layoffs? So, who is going to pay these scribblers that won’t agree to the terms? This is like an exercise in shadow boxing.

Anonymous said...

Ah success. The approaching trains have now been slowed to a mere 80 miles an hour before the head on collision.

Now if we can just ring the speed down to 75 miles per hour, we can save on casualties.

“Play up the less casualty angle boys” Great spin MNI!

Anonymous said...

Unions, in their hard-nosed blindness, have run more than one business into the ground

Anonymous said...

If a union is the last best shot for keeping jobs in a sick company, last one out, turn off the lights.

Anonymous said...

Waiting a full week before the Sac guild votes is ridiculous. They should call for a vote on Monday. If you haven't made up your mind yet, you're legally brain dead.

Anonymous said...

Typical union busting tactics like all other McC papers...even when they are on the ropes they still try to throw punches at the union. True non guild people are more at risk. Would this be due to lack of legal recourse?

Anonymous said...

Would this be due to lack of legal recourse?
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No, their legal recourse is the same as it is for the union. The difference is that they don't have a recognized bargaining unit, so, it is easier for management to shift the burden of layoffs onto them.

In the end it isn't going to matter because the company can only cut unorganized labor so far before the guild members are the only thing left to cut.

The fact that they were able to minimize the cuts to any degree at all, really tells us one thing and one only. After this round of layoffs....there will be another.

Anonymous said...

Union Busting? Really? In all other cuts and layoffs the union and non union employees at least in advertising were treated exactly the same, same options same buyouts. In fact the last voluntary no salespeople were on the list.

And speaking only for advertising since that is the department I know something about outside of union employees there are only 7 front line non union employees and i think like 12 managers so in that division your not likely to see that many non union people affected, possible a couple manager but support staff has been cut in every reduction in the past 20 years to the point that there isn't much left to cut.

Anonymous said...

Unions, in their hard-nosed blindness, have run more than one business into the ground.
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When companies are fair, unions are unnecessary. What you say may have had a kernel of truth many years ago, but the reality in this case is, BAD MANAGEMENT is wholly responsible for the current situation.

While many of those represented bear individual responsibility for their part in the decline, management is the one that allowed the decline in quality of journalism, obliteration of the line between news and editorial, and of course the completely irresponsible fiscal situation. All these things played a major part in their lingering death. Not just the bits and pieces that those responsible choose to acknowledge.

Anonymous said...

Is the N&O fudging again?
@http://gearino.com/?p=456#comments

Comment: “Speaking of columns, has anyone else noticed that the N&O is repeating them? As in, the one that ran Saturday is the exact same one that ran Wednesday. I found three like that in Wednesday’s paper, and I wasn’t even looking! [Snip] I was appalled when I realized it was recycled content.”

Anonymous said...

This is not the union I knew.
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Brian Tierney, head of the Philadelphia Newspapers, had received a pay raise a few months ago. The Teamsters though are siding with executives and their Chapter 11 petition. Several told television cameras that Tierney had earned his salary increases by keeping the newspapers alive and saving hundreds of union jobs.

Anonymous said...

Explain again to me why I should suscribe to MNI to get regurgitated wire stories?

Anonymous said...

Is the N&O fudging again?

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Probably so. They might have learned it from the KC Star. They have been doing that for months now in their online edition. Especially with Obama stories and phony Ipsos polls.

Change the headline and the date, then regurgitate.

Anonymous said...

This is one reason the biased print media WILL NOT be missed!
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-St. Louis Post-Dispatch Attacks Missouri Small Businesses-

The Source finds it interesting that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has decided to attack the Missouri small business community by suggesting House Speaker Ron Richard (R-Joplin) doesn’t have the mental fortitude or stamina to be House Speaker because he is a small business owner.

Anonymous said...

As a newsroom employee, I say no to the company's threat. I am not a communist and I refuse to have my salary cut to subsidize McClatchy's funding for other salaries.

I say let's call their bluff. Vote to not cut salaries, and let the company do what it has to do. Why should the union be made the bad guy?

Besides, even if we agree to slash our salaries now, that doesn't mean they won't decide to cut more staff in six months from now.

If the company needs to cut costs, it should start with the over-paid CEO and his million-dollar assistants.

Gary Pruitt: Cut your personal salary to $500,000 a year before you ask your under-paid newsroom clerks who earn less than $30,000 to slash their meager salaries.

Shame on you Pruitt. How about refunding the fat bonus you gave yourself and your corporate office cronies after you engineered the Knight-Ridder deal. That ruined MNI, and now you want us to pay for it.

Vote no on pay cuts!!!!

Anonymous said...

The people united, will never be defeated!!

The people united, will never be defeated!!

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter which property you work for, the product is being damaged beyond repair by the decisions made in Sacramento, and I wonder what would happen if the publishers just refused to cooperate any further? A mutiny wouldn't be out of the question in favor of saving an entire industry, would it?

Do the banks have the authority to come in and shut down the group running this thing? Again, it seems that if someone doesn't do it the value of the properties will decrease even further and the banks will never get their money back.

Let's also face this fact, the value of some of our properties is more than others, and many of our properties should probably be put down in the same way that Scripps killed the Rocky Mountain News and that Hearst is threatening to do with the SF Chronicle. That's a hard decision to face up to, but it's probably an inevitable for some.

Anonymous said...

I say let's call their bluff. Vote to not cut salaries, and let the company do what it has to do. Why should the union be made the bad guy?

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First off, it isn't a bluff. Secondly, you should have organized the entire lot of you a long time ago and forced him to take the cut before laying people off.

It's too late now. You lost the war because they had you fighting another. You didn't show up yours until it was too late.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what would happen if the publishers just refused to cooperate any further?

Do the banks have the authority to come in and shut down the group running this thing?
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Here is what would happen. The checks would start bouncing and nobody would get paid. The publisher would be fired and locked out of the building. A new publisher would follow orders from HQ.

If the company was in full mutiny, the banks would just shut down the operation and start freezing assets via court orders. Land and buildings would be sold at auction.

Bankruptcy via liquidation.

No buyouts. At best you would get unemployment checks. Also, your resume would be trashed with a termination for cause if you did anything illegal on the way out. Perhaps even an arrest record to permanently memorialize the occassion.

Still want to mutiny?

Show some character and just resign. Go get a new job flipping burgers or in pizza delivery.

Anonymous said...

The longer that Pruitt remains in charge of McClatchy, the chances of the banks ever getting paid get slimmer and slimmer. There is not enough revenue across the enterprise to support the repayment of the debt, and allowing Sacramento to keep running things is not in their best interest.

This is a bad debt that needs to be handled, eventually, and allowing Pruitt and the remaining Sacramento gang to go scorched earth all the way out the door is lunacy.

If the banks want to get their money back, selling off the properties with positive cash-flow and disposing of the remaining lot for asset value alone might be all they can do, now or later.

Anonymous said...

The people united, will never be defeated!!

The people united, will never be defeated!!

Anonymous said...

Does Tony Ridder post on this board?