An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
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Situation on Phoenix………………The company is asking for everything but the employees first born. The contract comes with Vaseline and a can of flat black spray paint. Even though slavery was abolished in the 1800’s Gannett obviously wishes to reinstate it. (Some proof of this is that the company doesn’t want to pay on Martin Luther King Day.) There are six items on the table, the contract language, wages, personal days, holidays, manning on the presses, and the hiring chairman’s job. The company wants the Union to take another pay cut. They are demanding a 10% pay cut. The company admits they are making money but that it is, just never enough. The company gives out massive bonuses to upper management, while furloughing their employees for profit. Gannett should change the company logo to Five Hands Squeezing a Penny.The language changes to the contract also make it very clear the company wants slavery, not employees. The language alone is so bad that it is reason enough to not sign the contract. This contract would truly put the ability to survive as a worker in jeopardy. The Union was railroaded by the International and previous Union president on the last contract. The contract was voted down by the membership but International Fat Cat M. Huggins held an illegal strike vote at the contract meeting. Claimed that since it was not a 100% vote to strike, the Union had to sign contract. The Union never even had a strike sanction let alone a notice to have a strike vote. This was just another sweetheart contract by Graphics Communications International Union. The last line of the contract should read Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am.That loss in wages put the Union back a minimum of 13 years. So another pay cut would put wages back at least 20 years. With every cost continually going up across the board, another pay cut would bankrupt a lot of our members. The Union only gets 50% of their pay when out sick. Imagine paying all your copays and then being out sick on even less income. (Non-contract get 100% sick pay). This is a good time to mention the differences between Union and nonunion workers. Union Non-ContractSick pay 50% 100%Vacation 3 weeks 4 weeksPersonal days 10 (company wants 5 back) 5Sick days ZERO NADA ZILCH 10Legal aid NOPE YEPThere are many other benefits and programs that non contract workers get, that Union people do not get. Local 58 M and the GCIU have been negotiating substandard contracts for over 20 years. This is solely to insure that the FAT CATS of the GCIU keep raking in the big bucks. (Dues in Local 58M average over $65 a month) Nobody needs a Union to negotiate a pay cut and give up all their benefits. A person
can give everything away without paying dues and being in a Union. What good is a Union if it can’t protect anything? To say it’s Gannett and there is nothing you can do, is not a confidence builder. The company has not been negotiating in good faith. They have continually said no to everything and just keep repeating their demands. The company gave the Union a final offer on March 27th and a last best and final on May 30th. The last best and final was a mirror image of the final offer. The company wants a 10% pay cut across the board, wants to rape the contract language, wants to pay two less holidays, wants five personal days and wants the hiring Chairman’s job.The company has stated that they feel that it is at impasse and that they can post at any time. It is very obvious that the company does not want to post conditions, they would have posted already. It has been five months, so if we are at impasse, why not post? I’ll tell you why, it frees the workers to strike and do sick outs and many other activities. They also do not want to have to list on their stock prospectus that all trades and crafts are not under contract.The International and C. Stregemann are jumping up and down saying that the company is just waiting for us to decertify. Well if that were true why the company didn’t just ask for a 20% pay cut? The company wants the Union workers to have substandard benefits and work conditions. That is why they are going to all this trouble to get a signed contract.The company lost an arbitration to the Union over an average of 4 vacation days. They had to pay the about 70 members four days’ pay. If the Union decertified they would have to pay these 70 plus member for all their unused time for this year and what they have earned for next year. For the pressroom this would be at least $250,000. Then the company would have to give you time back for what you would have as a non-contract workers. Recently the Union and the company met for two days. The two fat Cats from the international came in and tried to promote taking pay cuts etc. The two FAT CATS were M. Huggins and R. Lacey. On the first day Huggins said hell why don’t you just give them the Hiring Chairman’s job. On the 2nd day Lacey wanted to have a one on one meeting with Dale Dingle berry Carpenter. There was only one member of the scale committee who objected to this. The result of these back door one on ones by the International only results in lost wages and work conditions.Lacey then towards the end of the day after repeatedly telling us that there is no way to escape a pay cut, he suggested a special Union meeting. In this special Union meeting he said that we should make a proposal and show some movement, In other words start making concessions. The International and C Stegemann both want to talk the Union into offering to give things up. I will remind you of your last contract. The Union tendered a 2% (TWO PERCENT) and they ended up at 6.5% and lost their fourth week of vacation. The International just wants the members to keep paying their per capita. This keeps the FAT CATS FED. Once the scale committee puts something on the table, both the International and the company scream REGRESSIVE BARGING if you try to pull it back. The company is just waiting for the scale committee to start down this path of offering to take a pay cut.The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Well C. Stegemann wants to continue to negotiate the way they did last time. That is a losing proposition. I and
many other propose the Union tell the company to go ahead and post conditions. We can then do a strike and or many other things to bring the stock down. If the Union is ever going to fight, many of us believe now is the time. We believe that in three years that the entire plant will be outsourced. So you might as well fight for your conditions and wages now. Take a pay cut and trying save up some extra money will be almost impossible. Not to mention should you go out sick on less wages, you will be bankrupt. The smartest two things that the Union can do is to suspend C. Stegemann as Union president for lying to the scale committee and the membership. She claimed the International demanded to be here and the scale committee voted not to have International involvement. R. Lacey admitted that she called them and asked them to assist. The 2nd thing is to stop any International assistance in negotiations, unless you want to lose everything.I would imagine that at this special Union meeting R. Lacey will be telling I would imagine that at this special Union meeting R. Lacey will be telling you that he doesn’t like it but in his opinion make the best deal you can. They will be trying to scare you of posted conditions to motivate you to take a pay cut. They will also try to feed you a lot of bull about decertifying also to protect their per capita.Something else to consider is company just cut a lot of shifts. Just imagine how much worse your life will be with a pay cut and less time off and less options for shifts to work. Part of what you get paid for is the quality of your life, we work night’s holidaySomething else to consider is company just cut a lot of shifts. Just imagine how much worse your life will be with a pay cut and less time off and less options for shifts to work. Part of what you get paid for is the quality of your life, we work nights holidays and weekends.Just one last thing, if you are truly a Union minded person, know this, what you give up in Phoenix will be used against everyone else out there that works for Gannett.
All that sounds about right. UNION GREED is just as bad as CORPORATE GREED. it is all about money for themselves, taking from the working man. Yall should dump the union ASAP and take what you get. It's just a matter of time before your dumped either way, put you dues money into a 0.4% money market, lest you'll get something.
Which East coast site will be hit today with layoffs?Or will they make us wait in fear even longer.
Reuters is outsourcing its sports photography in North America to USA Today, giving Gannett another cheap-and-easy revenue stream. Statement from the National Press Photographers Association.
Every buzzword you have heard from Gannett corporate, all brought together in one place. https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130826001502-64875646-stop-using-these-30-phrases-at-work
Has anyone heard who is replacing Kurt Allen at DSM Register?
Wilmington is happening now. I work for Spark and it's being shuttered effective today. Advertising has also supposedly lost 12 people. Haven't heard of anyone being let go in the LIC yet.
Spark's website is gone -- goes right to photo galleries. The Facebook page is still up though!
I guess it is only a matter of time before they have Facebook shutdown the Spark page, too.
Thank you for reporting Wilmington; I'll add those to the list.
Spark had become the last honest, wholehearted effort at TNJ--not to mention the final holdout of print circulation. Exactly where will ads appear when print circulation reaches 0. Banner ads on the website? Hysterical!Ridiculous, ridiculous decision.
Five confirmed gone in Cherry Hill's advertising department. It happened this morning.
As usual, they probably kept the losers who've been kept in for years. They need to get rid of the mid-mismangement people.
Thank you; I'll add those to the list.
The advertising mid managment shrew was kind enough to send out an email DURING lay offs that donuts week be served 2moro for people who got new business last week. Heartless!!
How is that heartless? The people who are getting laid off won't be in and the ones who are coming in will appreciate them.It's like expecting everyone to stop making jokes on facebook because your cat died. Life goes on, and maudlin, self-serving 'moments of silence' are useless. If you feel that bad about it, don't take a donut. That means there's two for me.
I was approached at a football game this weekend by a circ. sales contractor. His selling point, coupons, not content, coupons. He readily admitted he pulled thecoupons out and trashed the newsprint his self. I didn't subscribe.
Nothing new. This has been happening for years. They only do what they are trained to do. One top circulation sales manager was known to say that she found the news to be too depressing and that politics bored her so she never read the paper. Of course, she is still with Gannett and has been promoted several tmes. World-class sales!
For all those people who keep calling the workers who get laid off losers remember they will be saying that about you when you get laid off. It doesn't matter how hard you work, how well you do, how many awards you get; you are only an amount of money in that department that needs to be reduced.
Wow! It's quite disappointing to see that some people still have that narrow-minded judgemental attitude about those who are laid off. They need to remember that NO ONE is safe in these times, especially when it comes to Gannett.
At least 2 in Binghamton, including EE.
Calvin Stovall is gone? Retired? RIFed?
Another minority editor gone.
It was known he would be leaving for the last two months. Not sure if he can retire.
Take away points from the two-plus dozen layoffs in Wilmo today. First - it's interesting that they waited for the stink of Ron Burgundy to clear before creating a new stink, would have been so much easier to just blame him. Second, Spark was absorbed into the newsroom two years ago. That move, allows the blowhard and biased Ledford to layoff Spark staff and keep what he perceives to be real newspaper staff. Third, they keep taking things away and wondering what readers want?
2:04--"two dozen plus"? How many in the newsroom in addition to the 12 reported in advertising?
Can someone at least report initials for the Binghamton newsroom layoffs? Thank you.
CS AV MR MT LM
Why no lay offs for GPS?
Wilmington - one in finance let go
GPS LAY OFFS/BUYOUTS... Maybe Jim can let all know how many GPS employees are now gone, due to the buyouts taking place the last 6 weeks through the end of this month. Add all those to the 350-400 let go in the past weeks and that's the real number that should be published to the general public on financial sites.
Dick Thien passed away.http://www.press-citizen.com/viewart/20130826/NEWS01/308260008/Editor-who-helped-create-USA-Today-dies-at-73?Local%20News
2:08 - All of the Spark staff have been laid off, in addition to the 12 in advertising, and rumor has it more will go in the newsroom as the day progresses.
USA Today staffers: your time is coming.
Were the spark sales reps also let go?
Signature Brandywine magazine is gone too. Anyone know if the editor was reassigned or let go?
somewhere out there in a big house made of cheese, lives a rat named craig debow.....
Why was he allowed to walk away with millions in his pocket after ruining thousands of lives? We neeed to hold these CEOs accountable for their selfish way of "doing business." The you know what is going to hit the fan when more and more and knocked out of work and discover they have nothing to lose.
Jim, You are missing an important metric in your spreadsheet. What is the current newsroom headcount at each site as compared to before the August 2011 layoffs?
Was a privilege to bring Spark magazine to the market ... It had the chops to stick around for 9.5 years, it unfortunately lost it's champion in the board room. Good luck to all of you who enjoyed the craft of bringing humor, entertainment, and the weekly pleasant diversion that was Spark Magazine to readers each week. Word.
Sad that it had great readership yet still was killed. Best wishes to the Spark team.
As I continue to see talented staff across the company sent packing, it amazes me beyond words that the HR director in Shreveport continues to keep her job. She must have something on someone. She was unavailable to answer questions when I was laid off. And as defined by the job description once associated with human resource directors --(attacts, recruits, trains, develops and retains talented workforce; ensures goals and policies of the company is met by the employees; handles concerns involving disputes between employees, and between the employee and the management; oversees evaluations of the employee's performance; and keeps staff records, including policies and procedures related to things like annual leave, sick leave, disputes, disciplinary procedures, work-life balance (ha!) ....she hasn't been doing this for years. Just an observation as she draws a paycheck and The Times staff gets smaller and smaller.
They keep her because she isn't a director. She does the job without all the "perks".
she covers Shreveport and Monroe, is not a director but a "Business Associate" or something like that - not a job most people would want ~ stressful I'm sure.
When I was laid off, the HR partner who was in the room (as a mere witness, I guess) kept calling me by the wrong name. It got so bad that I finally asked if there was a mistake and someone else was supposed to be there in the death chair. Yet another precious Gannett separation memory to carry for years to come.
Let me set the record straight on Gannett HR. I am a former Gannett HR employee and quit because Corporate thinks we are robots. Everything is feed to us and we are to carry them out as they instruct us. We do not get the opportunity to change those things that does not make sense. If it is legal it works for Corporate. Ethics are not part of their conversations. I once made someone so mad at Corporate HR simply by sending employees directly to them. This is a big NO NO that I found out very quickly. Local HR has to handle the local situations without even thinking about referring an employee directly to the source of the problem CORPORATE HR. If you missed the big HR layoff a couple of years back there are not very many of them left. They are over worked having to support several Gannett sites and sometimes not all in the same state. They are left out the loop of important items as layoffs until the event is taking place or about to take place. Their jobs are not glorifying in any way and the pay is lousy. They are subjected to do as I say or get the H??? out mentality everyday. I wish all my fellow HR friends well and hope they can get out as I did. I took a career change and loving it very much.
3:52 you are right on the money. I left Gannett HR because they wanted me to do too much. They farmed us out left us at the site where we reported to no one locally and that is exactly how they treated me. No help from Corporate just directives to layoff layoff layoff. I had no control of nothing locally and no one would listen to reason. I walked off the job and I know I am not welcomed backed and frankly I do not care. I have not looked for employment because my husband is taking care of our family. Good luck to all those left behind especially those in HR. Continue to be their robot while you look for something and just walk out the door.
So why did the supposed Gannett HR "Star" in Tucson get canned a couple of weeks ago?
She moved on her choice do not give Gannett this much credit.
About 15-20 in Binghamton. EE is out but that was known since his replacement had been there for weeks. Assistant ME is out, at least two others in newsroom, the entire digital team, and several advertising people. Some more may happen tomorrow.
The entire digital team? What happened to "digital first"? My sympathy to those folks and everyone getting the ax today after weeks of waiting.
Apparently Gannett will be setting up Digital hubs like they have designing hubs.
Binghamton had two executive editors and an assistant managing editor? Isn't that like a 30,000 circ. paper?
Yup. The new guy brought in though is also taking on Ithaca and Elmira though.
Does that mean the editors in Ithaca and Elmira were let go, too? Or will he be traveling to those sites this week to do layoffs?
Ithaca and Elmira will likely feel the cuts Tuesday.
Publisher just announced 28 total in Wilmington.
Sports editor and Flyers beat guy laid off in Cherry Hill today as well.
News Journal numbers in. 28 in the building. Six in the newsroom.
Watching the texts and FB messages coming in about Wilmington, Del., layoffs was like watching the Lusitania take on water....horrible.
Jim, Are going to update the current layoff spreadsheet?
I have 9 confirmed in Binghamton. That is only news and digital don't know about advertising
New head of the daily in Howell, MI.http://www.livingstondaily.com/article/20130826/NEWS01/130826006/Veteran-journalist-lead-Daily-Press-Argus
As a recent layoff victim and a survivor of many previous rounds, I cannot stress enough that the quality of your performance will mean nothing when jobs in your area are being cut. I know firsthand that it is not even the smallest factor, and that your manager's glowing recommendations don't matter either. My manager was not told that anyone would be laid off, and the next-highest manager, who actually fired me, wasn't told anything until the night before. If they had a say, neither one would have chosen to lay off the people who were cut. It all came down from on high based solely on job category and salary.
Thank you from a "former loser" who found a job elsewhere.
In Lansing, I heard the columnist was laid off, and the managing editor didn't even know until it happened.
P.S. So please do not call us "losers."
Any initials of the newsroom victims in Delaware? How did NJ fare today?
HN is one. Used to be with Spark. 28 jobs eliminated.
HN? Thought she had made the shrewd, calculated, life-saving switch to all things digital. Wow.
HN, GW, RM, DS, RK
I hear Ellen showed her stripes today. What a woman — comes out of retirement to lay people off.She sounds like a real gannett gem.
Thanks for bringing her aboard Michael Kane.
adding to newsroom initials above, also KT
KT the sportswriter?
KT the health writer
Clueless Tom Donavan must of made these cuts. Only someone with a brain the size of a pea would get rid of a publication with an incredible following that is profitable and attracts the age group of readers the paper can't capture. Another great decision by Gannett. It is very apparent they want out of the print business sooner then later.
No. What's apparent is they are prepping the newspapers individually for sale. TNJ's P&L will look much better without Spark and Signature body count.
Who would want to buy these newspapers. Most of them have no copy desk left, no ad design staff left, no web development people, a small circulation staff, a fair amount of them don't even have a press. If someone were to buy them they would have to spend a lot of money rebuilding everything Gannett has striped from them
I think you are very wrong. Gannett wants out of print but can't get their act together regarding digital. They laid off an amazing digital guy today in Wilmington. Smart, great video guy, they have no freakin clue what they are doing. Gannett is doomed. No one is driving the ship and it will soon go down the tubes. Very sad indeed.
Hey Michael Kane and Ellen,here is something to feel good about— you laid off one of my co-workers with cancer today! Now this person cannot afford to pay for the medication that would of saved this person's life. Hope you sleep well tonight. Your time is coming. Believe me, it will.
You reap what you sow. This negative energy will come back to you.
Is this the announcement everyone was waiting for from NJ about the "finishing desk"? Is it headed by Bob of Bob's Discount Furniture?From: Towns, HollisSent: Monday, August 26, 2013 5:52 PMTo: ASB-APPNEWSROOMSubject: Announcement August 26, 2013 All: Today our day and night copy desk teams unite as a single regional finishing desk under the leadership of Bill Canacci and Kate Priest with Jackie Sergeant and Bob Williams. This unification allows us to: · Evenly distribute work among editors· Cross-train so every editor can produce all types of content· Make it easier to manage production and vacation schedules As importantly, it allows us to assist the Gannett New Jersey papers not currently a part of our regional desk – the Courier Post and Daily Journal – some of whose pages will be finished here starting today. Our regional desk, launched in May 2009 for the four northern New Jersey properties, has proven its value many times over. With today’s moves, we are happy to further strengthen our status as a regional editing hub upon which our New Jersey papers can rely. Executive Editor/VP NewsNew Jersey Press Media3601 Highway 66 Neptune, N.J. 07754
What he didn't mention is that daily deadlines are now an hour earlier. Pretty soon it will be like working at an AM paper again ...
Get the heck off of here Corporate idiot. We have more important things to discuss then your childish comments about Jim. Find another site — now
hey ellen, we turned off our phones, video recordings etc like you requested but we can still see you are a heartless piece of crap. What goes around comes around. Don't think you will escape the negative energy you created.
Any word from NJ? Why so quiet?
Meeting called for Thursday at Florida Today. Expect a major announcement.
I am a member of Local 58M, and a devout believer that withou a union Phoenix pressman would have even worse conditions. What bothers me with your post is that you are attacking everyone company gannettoids, as well as union representatives. I wonder where your loyalty is and what your purpose was for this post. You are blamming everyone for the dismal state of affairs.And you are forgetting the "U" in Unionism..What Have you done to help U and your fellow Union Brothers and Sisters?
Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."
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