Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When might another furlough get announced?

Amid speculation about another first-quarter furlough, I reviewed the timing of furlough announcements for the past four big ones, in hopes of predicting the next. (I'm excluding two, this year, that were limited to certain highly-paid U.S. newspaper workers.)

Three of the four were announced after the start of the quarter in which the furloughs were to be taken. That suggests Corporate could wait until the last minute to announce any for the first quarter of next year. 

The following table shows the four furloughs since 2009. They were all for one week's duration. The exception: In the second quarter of 2009, certain highly paid employees were required to take off two weeks.


  1. I really don't understand how they can wait until the last minute. I mean, I do, but I don't. By waiting until December, that gives your managers less than a month - one when a lot of people are going to be on vacation - to work out the scheduling for the first quarter. It completely throws off all the planning and scheduling done to that point for the new year.

  2. They'll push our asses to make Q4 and then drop this bomb right after the first of the year. That's how they operate.

  3. Yes push it to the limit and that won't be good enough.
    Then told,sorry more layoffs and expense cuts must be made for the corporate to stay strong.
    They have been saying this for three years.

  4. I will take another vacation, no poblem, Feb. Florida here I come

  5. Dear 4:57: Bleep you. I am sure you must know that those of us who aren't making $$$$$$ and have families do not feel that way. You are worse than the fat, greedy pigs in corporate.

    In all my years, through all the back-breaking hours of journalism, I have never been as disgruntled as I am with this company. Thing is, my editors and coworkers love me. I'm out of here. I don't have to put up with this crap any more. I want a real career with a real future; not a company that pays the outgoing miserable failure of a CEO a king's salary and continues to reward the other failures at the top. And the newest addition to the board of directors -- are you bleeping kidding me?!?! What innovative skill does she bring? Digital TV! Is this a bleeping joke?! I'm sure she can speak WONDERFUL buzz-word prose, and that's all any of these people bring to the table.

    They have RUN THIS COMPANY INTO THE GROUND and here we are saying: "Oh, please, don't cut a week or two of my salary. I need to make my mortgage payment, and sometimes I like to treat my kids to Ruby Tuesday for dinner. My wife had a baby and after our rotten insurance my cut of the bill is like $4,000."

    And then ugly people in charge of this mess say: "I am so worthy of $10 million a year because, really, it's not that much money. Some of it is in stocks. And, you know, my kid's tuition is about $20,000 a year. I'm just getting paid the market rate for my genius. Not everyone can pick the pockets of every employee and then get the board of directors to pay ME a raise. Oh, and my back/hip hurts. Please pay me MOOOORE."

    I don't feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for the communities that we cover.

  6. Yeah, I recall Tom Callinan when he was editor in Cincinnati, telling everyone how he spent his furlough in France. Ugh.

  7. 5:27
    blank you. I work in the pressroom and do not make above 50k. My view is if I can't take more time off from this shit hole the better. Feel better about yourself now..Let me guesss your a so called writer,,right..go fig

  8. I'll take a furlough over a pay cut any day. Yeah, the company sucks, but I'd rather be able to enjoy the suckiness by taking a break from producing said suck.

  9. 5:27 and 7:15 Thank you both. Next, management will tell us to eat cake during furlough or as we get laid off.

  10. O well, time off is time off. My last fercation was spent just outside Camden. Actually had a great time too.

  11. I enjoy the seldom-earned benefit of being completely persona-non-grata - no on call, no checking email, no nothing. And a furlough is much better than a pay cut - at least I can honestly say at interviews that my rate is $50,000 a year - even if I only get paid 48,076 after two weeks off.

    That being said, it really does hurt my family. It may only net out a difference of $1500 - but to me that's a year of braces payments, four months of food or nearly three house payments.

    If it made a difference somewhere: if it kept a paper afloat, if it raised stock prices, if it meant holding the line on health care costs - it would be easier to bear.

    But knowing that all of the hardship that I'm going through is multiplied for those who make less than me, it's hard to take. And knowing that all of our sacrifices combined were flushed into one person's parting gift? How can any thinking person justify that?

    How can any stockholder justify investing in a company that dumps a month's profits into one person's bank account - a person who will never again add value to the company, and yet will continue to derive benefits?

  12. I considered all the extra time I've put in over the years just part of the job I loved. No more.

    It's time to reckon all that imaginary comp time I have coming. Because my company values my time so little, I will continue to show up, eight hours a day, 40 hours a week, 44 weeks a year after holidays, vacation, furlough and every sick day I can possibly swing.

    I will not do anything outside of my job description, grown as it has. A missed paper call will allow me to say, 'sorry, wrong department' - and hang up. A public discussion of the paper's merits will not have me as a cheerleader. At home I will not comment on stories online, nor write letters to the editor, nor tell my facebook friends to 'like' any poultry.

    As raises have gone away, the impetus to do well for reviews has also. I have no fear that I will be replaced, as our soiled reputation as an employer in our community means our logo is the only one filling the employment pages.

    "Lead by example!" Our leaders have provided excellent examples, and by God, I will follow them:
    Me first, and devil take the hindmost.

  13. It's a pay cut, a cut in what you'll ultimately get from Social Security, a win-win-win for the company and a lose-lose-lose for the employee.

  14. Jim, I have to agree on your logic, based on the history they have established. There's no way they can meet YOY revenue goals without having a comparable bottom line to compare with. Adding back in the compensation they've been getting out of paying the last few years in Q1 would kill their bottom line and their stock price which they can't let happen (any more than it already is).

    Folks, make sure you file for unemployment if you are taking the full week. If you haven't been filing all along, you've been doing yourself a disservice. Some states do have a waiting period of 1 week at the start, others may have it at other times. If you took your furlough in March last year, but this year take it in February, you had your waiting week last year and can collect this time. Remember, you paid for this.

  15. 8:57, I started that a year ago and I live by it every day. And not one friend was told about the chicken.

  16. Callinan should have known better than to say where he went, but let’s not forget he lost pay too…$5,000 per week (could have taken the QE2 instead of coach across the Atlantic), and that other members of management were required to take two one year.

    Regardless, this endless cycle of furloughs needs to end as it’s costing this company far more than the bottom line savings it shows.

  17. I agree, 8:36. With the shrinking number of employees, furloughs are not going to save as much as they once did.

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  19. The revolution will be streamed


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