Goodbye!

“She left voluntarily because of the stress and frustration of waiting for the axe.”

— A Gannett Blog reader, explaining in an e-mail why a 27-year company veteran agreed to quit today: “She will be greatly missed.” (Paper-by-paper layoff list.)

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36 Responses to “Goodbye!”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    That’s sad … but I’ve heard similar murmurs among our more experienced colleagues, too.

    It’s not the biz they once loved.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    There should be a great deal of stress in this situation but don’t you think this blog is contributing more stress and having people over thinking? 3% will be going but 97% will be staying so the odds are pretty good that you will keep your job. Having someone quit because they are afaid of the axe is not a rational responce given the odds.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I know the feeling don’t want to go to the office today its just to depressing there.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, Anon 1:10, it’s all this blog’s fault. Oil prices, the weak dollar, stress in Gannett Local Information Centers. Fear-mongering Jim Hopkins. The rascal.

    Can you, Anon 1:10, get a clue? And learn how to spell “response?” What are you, a Gannett exec?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    1:10, since when does 50 out of 700 amount to 3%? It sure isn’t 3% for the APP folks. And 35 out of a smaller staff at Cherry Hill isn’t 3% either.

    Just another example of Gannett’s lovely math.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    1:28. Attack the person and not the idea. That does not make your argument stronger but shows that you don’t have a lot behind your views. At least 1:10 provided some logic to back up their case and did not attack anyone.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    1:28 pm Read the memo. It’s 3 percent for 84 community newspapers. Payroll cuts are being made on the basis of revenue declines at individual properties. We have no way of knowing what these figures are, but I would guess that some newspapers that saw a significant reduction in revenues are now seeing a significant reduction in their payrolls.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    1:47, if last-hired/first-fired is in the contract, don’t blame the union more than the company, since both signed it. and union officers who don’t seek to enforce a contract are at risk of legal action — they even have to fight for freeloaders who’ve never paid a penny in dues!

    such clauses are intended to protect people who have devoted years — often decades — to their jobs so they aren’t dumped when they start getting gray hairs.

    if it weren’t for such clauses, older, better-paid people in “at-will” states would get the boot and younger, more easily intimidated people would be working 60 hours a week for half of what the experienced people were getting.

    and before you knock unions, think about the fact that the 40-hour workweek, overtime pay and vacations all were negotiated by unions, along with health insurance and the other benefits you’re used to. they were not friendly gifts from generous managements.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I think 1:10 is missing two major points in his theory of not worrying. First, the people left behind are stressed in part because they know with each job lost it means more work for an already stretched staff.

    Secondly, the 97 percent who survive the cuts see a disturbing trend that might one day nab them, too. Does anyone really want to work quarter to quarter thinking about layoffs in an already stressed biz. Does anyone think they can reach retirement age doing what they’re doing, working where they are working?

    1:10, it’s not a simple game of odds that’s causing the stress.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    1:47 While I respect your union steward’s commitment to fairness, telling her he’d fight to get her on the layoff list if she survives is tactless. lol

    And I’m not sure it’s irrational to worry you’ll lose your job. Each paper is different. Folk on the inside would be able to gauge their vulnerability at the local level, not just by percentages.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    1:32, I did not attack the person.

    There have been too many platitudes of “don’t worry, really,” when folks have serious concerns here. As 2:25 and 2:33 pointed out, this isn’t a one-time thing. Even the memo says there may be further cuts. If you’re in a non-union shop, there are no guarantees for anyone. There have been buyouts galore and, as has been pointed out, a ton of less visible staff reductions in the form of unfilled positions.

    The uncertainty of what tomorrow (or Wednesday) will bring is brutal, and even for the “97%” who survive, it may just be a temporary reprieve. Telling people not to worry, “it might not be you” is about as comforting as being told “yeah, it’s cancer, but we got it early.” It’s still a threat, until you know the outcome.

    If you don’t like hearing about the anger, don’t read the comments.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    This is all so Mickey Mouse. They announce it Friday, so that makes the weekend miserable. Then the cuts aren’t coming until Wednesday, so Mondays and Tuesdays are further misery. I can’t blame anyone saying they can’t stand the stress. You really have to ask yourself if you need to be treated this way by a company you have only shown loyalty towards.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    This blog isn’t wiping out a single job — that’s Gannett! Don’t shoot the messenger. All this blog does is ease transparency. Thank God for that.

    2:58, as for loyalty, I’ve learned you have to view the company as it views you — it’s strictly business. It best protects you emotionally and professionally.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    This blog is not creating stress. Gannett’s impending lay offs and management practices are causing all the stress. This blog is a cathartic outlet. I dare even say this blog could be a tool to heal the company should management listen to what’s being said and make constructive steps to improve going forward.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t get or support the politics connection comment either. Seems way off base. Most everything else on here, though, resonates with me. Many legit beefs. This should be mandatory reading for new employees. Lots of important history and perspectives you won’t get elsewhere.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    2:22: I used to be a member of Appleton’s union, but like most of the smart employees here, I stopped paying dues a long time ago. Here are some of the ‘benefits’ they’ve negotiated for us: no 401 K match like the rest of Gannett, less days off than workers at papers like Green Bay (personal and holiday), first sick day is unpaid everytime you call in sick, managers can do anything here they can do at any other Gannett paper with no union portection. The union is Gannett’s best friend — they want it here beause they can still do what they want but give us less benefits. The only ones who are in it are the people who dont produce and care only about seniority even if seniority doesnt matter when push comes to shove. Its a joke.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    How are the layoffs being handled at the different sites?

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Good question, 6:02 – what’s the impact so far on the newsrooms?

  19. Anonymous Says:

    In Poughkeepsie, we lost the managing editor, an ad services person and a business office person.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    6:30 p.m., can you give us age guesstimates? there may be an illegal pattern of dumping people 40 and older here. we need data from anyone anywhere who can help.

    jim, can you start a separate topic area for this, please?

  21. Jim Hopkins Says:

    All: I’ve created a new discussion area under the link, “What are the ages of your laid-off co-workers? ” Or go to new post at http://tinyurl.com/5msxal

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Jim’s blog is giving the world a look at the truth that is Gannett. And it’s about time the truth came out.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Layoffs have been completed at Brevard. Across the board by seniority-job position. No consideration for what the employee’s expertise was.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Amen on the truth! This blog is a lifesaver for us Gannettoids starved for info that is not tainted with spin and deception. Probably helping some others out too…folks who maybe were considering working here and now are thinking better of it.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    I’m curious which site the 27-year veteran whose leaving prompted this post was working at.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    This blog should be shown to prospective job candidates at the earliest possible point in the interview process. Hopefully they’re smart enough to do some research and find it themselves, but just in case, Gannett veterans out there should figure out a way to give them the hint!

  27. Anonymous Says:

    Heh. I remember YEARS ago, when I first started in Montgomery, I was back in the photo department as they were giving a tour to a young reporter candidate. Our assistant photo editor at the time looked at her and shouted “DON’T DO IT!!” Boy, was he right!

  28. Anonymous Says:

    Jim
    Aren’t most ME’s on the corporate payroll? Hearing an ME got laid off changes the expectations a bit. Or maybe not.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    How many papers still have an ME position if they an ExecEd too? Anyone know?

  30. Anonymous Says:

    ME’s — at least at papers I know of — are not corporate employees, but are employees of the newspaper.

  31. Anonymous Says:

    In Cherry Hill, we have an AME, ME and EE. (Though it should be noted that the new management came in and basically reduced the AME to head of photo/online/special sections.)

  32. Anonymous Says:

    In Cherry Hill, our ME is on the corporate payroll.

  33. Danwilson Says:

    I am the Appleton union steward mentioned in the earlier posts. I did have a conversation with an employee about seniority and layoffs and I pointed out to her that the union contract dictates that the last hired would be the first to go. In no way did I tell her that she should be the first to go. She is not even at the bottom of the seniority list. The characterization in the post is pure fiction.
    And as to the 401K, we recently negotiated the company match into our contract. It is awaiting ratification from the membership.
    The angry posts reflect the anxiety the layoffs have created in the newsroom and it is unfortunate that employees are taking it out on fellow employees.
    I am used to slams on the union. Younger employees, for the most part, have little use for a union because they weren’t around in the bad old days when reporters had no benefits and had to depend on their spouses for an income and had no job protections whatsoever.
    They also feel that making decisions based on seniority is patently unfair. Yes, it is times like these that the contract comes into play. I am sure it is true of a lot of workplaces that the unions will die out as the baby boomers leave the workforce.
    Dan Wilson
    Chief Steward, The Post-Crescent
    Local 4621
    Communications Workers of America

  34. Anonymous Says:

    So Mr. Wilson,

    I’m curious why your union isn’t doing things to make itself relevant and valuable to the next generation of journalists and workers at your paper who will eventually overtake you?

    Seems like a bad plan for the future to me… serve your own interests then cut and run…

    Thanks for caring about the profession and the future.

    Not all – but some and perhaps many – union employees feel untouchable and protected everyday. They feel they can get away with being less productive because – hell – they’ve earned it and paid their dues (both literally and figuratively).

    You may be entitled to a job but you still have to earn your pay no matter how old or senior you are.

  35. Anonymous Says:

    2:20 PM
    Just curious. Did you go to public schools? If so, were the very people who educated you protected under union contracts? And, do you think you got a good education?

  36. Anonymous Says:

    2:35: Why does it matter whether he or she had teachers who might have belonged to a union?

    There is a difference between a union that works and one that does not.

    Commenters here have said unions protect jobs, wages and a 40-hour work week. Not so in Appleton. Their contract says the management can get rid of any job at any time. It says nothing about promising pay raises. The contract says a 40-hour work week is not, in fact, guaranteed.

    The steward, Mr. Wilson, in his post here stresses the contract’s one attempt at a protection for some employees. Seniority.

    Why doesn’t he write about merit or quality of work?

    “Productivity,” “talent” and “skill” should not be meaningless words, Mr. Wilson.

    My conclusion is that the Appleton union members think they’re not worth keeping around for their quality of work. If they did, they wouldn’t be so concerned about the number of years served. They would be fighting for pay raises, days off and better sick benefits.

    Your skills (not your number of years served) should keep you employed.

    Would they in your case, Mr. Wilson?

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