Friday, January 2, 2009

Consolidation blues

The rumors about copy desk layoffs appear to be true.

Announcements have been made in multiple newsrooms today that a plan to merge all LANG copy desks into a central desk at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, is tentatively scheduled for February or March and 2008 LANG-offered buyout options will remain in effect: one week of pay per year of service up to six years plus three months COBRA and a promise not to contest unemployment.

The terms of layoffs/buyouts are subject to negotiation for Guild-covered staffers.

Information is sporadic at the moment, but we've been contacted by employees at three LANG papers so far, each providing similar information.

One source tallies the total personnel for the combined desks at 88, and suggests that the company seeks to cut approximately 20% of that number for the new operations.

Another rumor floating around is that the Guild is dissolving its LANG units. That much we can promise is absolutely false. There are NO such plans, and we have zero intention of abandoning our members now.

Hard facts are scarce at the moment, so we're actively seeking out information and details on the plans. If you have anything to add, please contact us at scmg9400@gmail.com.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

The question is what can the Union do about it?
I hope something a little quicker than what was done to the Long Beach copy editors/ writers.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with this one, what a great start to the new year...they're sure not wasting any time. Hang in there guys!

Anonymous said...

"Hang in there"!? Worst advice ever! My advice is to get a new job.

Anonymous said...

Confirm ... confirm ... Bye Bye Union it was a great (not really) run .... great move by the 'Deanster' he cuts cost and drowns the union! Only the strong (actually the rich) survive!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it convenient that the Tribune is non-union? So anyone from the Daily News who transfers to the universal desk there will lose union representation, just like what happened to the PT people who transferred to the Breeze. And that means Deano won't have to give them a 401k match once they're non-union. Whatta guy.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Uncle Deano may still be on his way to off-shore consolidation...by way of a slow, painful bleed of local employees.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the on city council thinks. We should go down there and tell them that the copy editing is now even further away. What napped to Bob Fosters promise of local jobs?

But Dean Singleton is a great guy. I feel sorry for him, all these apr├Ęs for sale, he owe's the bank millions and AP is tanking.

Anonymous said...

re: Matching 401K. The San Jose Mercury News IS Union and Dean's camp has already announced NO MORE MATCH starting in 2009. And since the pension is already frozen and no new hires are eligible, there's not much incentive to work for this guy anymore.

Anonymous said...

If enough unionized employees are moved to the universal desk, wouldn't that decrease union membership enough for management to simply choose not to recognize the union?

How did they beat the guild in Northern California?

Anonymous said...

The L.A. Daily News contract is up, the Press-Telegram contract is 2 years into its negotiations, why not make and merge into one big union?

Where are the big guns, send out Bernie Lunzer !!!! Did we pay our dues so we get letters saying we are talking to Jim Janiga, the biggest Bullshitter out there, and get no action?

There must be violations here !!

Anonymous said...

Rich Archbold !!!! Where is my Merit raise? !!!!!!!!

oh thats right in your pocket.

Anonymous said...

holy crap!! is it rumor or just more speculation? that more cuts are coming at the p-t and the breeze? maybe reporters and other newsroom types. anyone else hearing anything? hell, maybe this time it'll be managers instead of us under-paid and over-used working stiffs.

whose gonna turn out the lights?

Anonymous said...

Why isn't union merging with the Daily News unit? Makes sence to me.

Anonymous said...

I wonder: why is it that I keep coming here expecting to find new information about what has happened? Why do I expect that this blog, which less than a wek ago posted some BS story about optimism, will have new information?

The Long Beach guild was blindsided by the move to Torrance in February. And now they have been blindsided again.

Still, there is no contract.

Do the right thing. Negotiate a contract in which the only thing you ask for is a period of no layoffs. Sacrifice whatever is necessary to get that. Ask for two years so they are amenable to giving you one.

Then encourage all membership to find a new job ASAFP.

Len Cutler said...

A couple of points:

Negotiate a contract in which the only thing you ask for is a period of no layoffs. Sacrifice whatever is necessary to get that. Ask for two years so they are amenable to giving you one.

We're already made that proposal to the company. The company has not responded favorably to anything less than full capitulation on outsourcing. No delays, no limitations, no exceptions.

The San Jose Mercury News IS Union and Dean's camp has already announced NO MORE MATCH starting in 2009.

That statement was made in error. The funds matching will continue for BANG-EB employees with contractual protections.

Anonymous said...

Come on Len. Use that "union voice" and tell us what cuts are coming down at Long Beach and Torrance. You gotta know something. Or is the union still as clueless and useless as ever?