To All Observer Employees,
As you know, McClatchy Newspapers must put into place significant expense reductions to address a sharp decline in revenues resulting from the ongoing economic recession. We are now in a position to move forward with specific plans for The Charlotte Observer.
We will reduce our present workforce by 14.6%, largely through the involuntary separation of 60 full-time and 22 part-time employees. We are reducing the work hours of some employees. Reductions will occur across most of the company, including Advertising, Human Resources, Finance, IT, News, Operations, Circulation and Marketing.
All affected employees are being notified immediately and told about transition packages. We deeply value their contributions to this company and regret that economic circumstances require these decisions. The Observer is, and always will be, the people who produce it. Please know that we reduced costs in every other feasible way before turning to the elimination of jobs.
To that end, we are taking another step that will reduce payroll while helping to prevent the further loss of jobs. We will implement wage reductions for all employees whose compensation exceeds $25,000 annually. Every employee will receive a letter detailing the impact on individual pay and have the opportunity to ask questions. Wage reductions take effect April 20th and will appear on your May 8th pay check.
Should business conditions continue to deteriorate, we may also find it necessary to schedule a one-week furlough for most employees for the second half of the year. We expect to make a decision on this by late spring or early summer.
As we have previously announced, we are also taking significant steps to reduce operational costs. All divisions have contributed to this effort. Each division continues to closely analyze expenses for savings that will help us work through this difficult business climate while also maintaining our commitment to our readers and our advertisers. A recent example was our decision to move the Business section into an expanded A section most weekdays. More details are forthcoming from individual divisions as they develop.
This horrible recession will pass. Thank you for all you are doing to keep us on mission until that day comes. If you have questions, human resources and your division vice presidents will work to get your answers.
Please post for those not on Intranet service.
President & Publisher
The Charlotte Observer
600 S. Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
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