These are extraordinary times - in the economy, in our industry, and at McClatchy.
The company is in deep financial trouble. To pull through, it will take sacrifice by those who care about the company.
Newspaper Guild members and other employees are doing our part. In quick succession, our salaries and our pensions have been frozen. The company match has been eliminated from our 401K plans. We’ve gone through two rounds of buyouts. Our ranks are thinner. But, that is only the beginning. An unknown number of us will be sent out the door in the coming weeks, laid off during the worst economic climate in 80 years.
Those of us who remain will work harder, but we will work for less. The company has told the Guild we all will be furloughed this year, and beyond that, we will be asked to take additional voluntary pay cuts. If not, more of us may be terminated.
Yes, these are extraordinary times. We come to work each day dealing with a sense of personal uncertainty we have never before felt - sudden worries about making our mortgage payments, about setting a few dollars aside for childrens’ college education, about saving enough to someday buy a house of our own.
Forget, for now, about getting ahead; we’re just gutting it out, hoping to survive.
But, we care about this company. We care about its cause. We have sacrificed in hopes of helping the company weather the storm.
Today, we ask you to step forward and join us in a meaningful way. We ask you to work harder for less.
Your most recent publicly released annual compensation package is $4.6 million, of which $1.1 million is listed as base salary. We understand you recently relinquished one of your two pension accounts. We ask you to agree to reduce your full compensation this year to $500,000. You may have read recently that is the amount of executive pay the president of the United States has suggested he believes is appropriate in dire circumstances.
It would not be a symbolic move. We don’t want symbolism. It’s about dollars and cents at a moment when every dollar counts. A voluntary reduction on your part would save jobs. Simple as that.
Join us in sacrifice for the sake of the company,
Sacramento Unit of the California Media Workers Guild
AP photo by H.W. Chiu.