Monday, January 26, 2009

Company moves quickly to cut circulation staff

We were notified by members in the circulation department that they were informed that eight district advisors will be laid off, effective February 23. (The ratified contract provides a one-year moratorium on editorial layoffs.)

There are two District Manager positions available at the non-union Daily Breeze in Torrance and the laid off employees may apply for transfer to those open positions.

Our members have asked about their prospects at the Breeze: will their experience guarantee them a slot? The answer unfortunately is no. Although the Breeze may consider experience as part of hiring, as an unprotected workplace, the company is under no obligation to honor seniority.

The news of the layoff does not come as a surprise to circulation workers. We first received notice four years ago that the company desired to subcontract the Press-Telegram circulation department. We worked very hard to negotiate the company away from its position. But throughout negotiations, it became increasingly obvious the company intended to put its plan into effect. In the face of the declining economy, the company continues to make cuts and consolidations across LANG and implement cost saving measures like subcontracting out the P-T's circulation department.

In the end, the company refused to extend the editorial moratorium on layoffs to circulation. Although it's no substitute for their jobs, and an insult to the men and women that have given decades of service assuring timely delivery of the P-T, as the company's determination to eliminate these jobs became apparent, we redoubled our efforts to secure the best possible terms of lay-off benefits for our colleagues in that department, and hopefully those benefits will help our colleagues in these difficult times.

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