Cutting loose a single employee can require a three-member team: their immediate supervisor; an H.R. representative, and someone from IT. The supervisor and H.R. deliver the bad news in a private meeting, explaining severance terms and other details. While this is going on, an IT worker is likely shutting off access to the computer network. (In some cases, a fourth employee might be assigned to pack the worker's personal possessions, to be handed to them as they leave the building.)
Suppose this process takes 30 minutes per worker. A three-member team could handle 16 layoffs in eight hours. But what if it's a bigger paper, with more cuts to make -- like The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., where the publisher has already warned of about 80 layoffs? One team would need 40 hours to run through that many people, so there would likely be several teams, working simultaneously.
Earlier: Questions to bring to a meeting where you'll be laid off
[Image: today's News-Press, Newseum]