Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Publisher tells employees at The Herald (Rock Hill) to prepare for unpaid furloughs

More McClatchy newspapers are talking about furloughs this week. Here is an excerpt of email publisher Debbie Abels sent to Rock Hill Herald employees today:

Herald and Weeklies Employees,

At our recent employee meeting, I had mentioned again that furloughs in the second half of the year were a possibility, but I would hold off until the last possible moment (end of June) to make the call.

Here's an update so you won't be surprised.

I'm about 95% sure we'll have to do them. We had a good month in April and a bad month in May. They cancelled each other out and brought us about even to our cash flow goal for the second quarter. The first week in June, our revenue was extremely weak. Based on several economic indicators, I keep thinking things are going to get better. So far, we haven't seen it.

To avoid furloughs, we'd have to have bang-up revenue weeks for the remainder of June, and I'd have to be convinced they were for sustainable reasons. I'm an optimist, so I'm still willing to hold off a final decision until the end of the month. But in the meantime, we should be preparing. Your division will have guidelines shortly with which to start scheduling. The basics again: One week furlough for all except outside sales. Non-exempt employees (eligible for overtime) can take in one-day increments; exempt employees (salaried) must take in one week increments, per wage/hour law.

I truly wish we could avoid furloughs but it's just not looking like it right now.


Debbie Abels
President and Publisher
The Herald
132 W. Main Street
Rock Hill, SC 29730


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