More on Times Layoffs

Some followup on those layoffs at The New York Times: First, a memo from a Times exec to the paper’s clerical staff. Below that, a notice from the Newspaper Guild of New York to its Times members. Both were sent yesterday evening:

Here’s the Times exec’s memo:

From: Steven McElroy Date: Nov 28, 2007 5:20 PM

Subject: regarding today’s news

To: [New York Times clerical staff]

Folks, You’ve seen the note and, understandably, you have questions. The people on the clerical staff who are affected by the staff reduction in Bill’s announcement have already been informed. While there may be additional changes next year those will relate primarily to readjusting job duties in a few areas that are yet to be determined. I have had to share very difficult news today with people who have dedicated many years of their lives to The Times. Please know that we are saddened by these cutbacks that involve people who have supported our daily operations so well and for so long.



Now, the Guild’s notice:

Published By The Newspaper Guild of New York For The New York Times Unit

Times Guild Unit Office

November 28, 2007


Times management on Wednesday said it wants to cut 13 Newsroom support jobs, including most mail distribution and Recording Room positions, but is willing to discuss voluntary buyouts, placements and swaps with other employees who are willing to leave.

In a meeting with Guild representatives that was held as managers notified targeted employees, Labor Relations Vice President Terry Hayes said the company was seeking to cut costs through a combination of outsourcing, work reorganization and simple job cuts.

The proposed reductions, which follow cuts earlier this year among Customer Order Fulfillment, Telesales and Building Cleaning employees, are not expected to happen until January at the earliest under the Guild-Times contract.

Targeted are four jobs in Newsroom mail distribution, all three remaining Recording Room jobs, a Photographic Printer, three New York Newsroom Secretaries, one Houston Bureau Secretary and one Miami Bureau News Assistant. Affected employees can get an update on the situation at a meeting at Guild headquarters on Dec. 6 from Noonto 2 p.m. EST.

Hayes said management is proposing to outsource Newsroom mail distribution to a firm it already uses. The Recording Room and Photo Lab work would simply be eliminated, while New Yorksecretarial work would be redistributed among remaining Secretaries, he said. Bureau Chiefs in Miami and Houston would take over the duties now done by the support staff there, he added.

New York Guild President Bill O’Meara said the Guild would seek to have affected workers placed in other available jobs, including the jobs of non-affected employees who are willing to volunteer for buyouts. He requested a list of all available jobs as well as jobs being done by temporary and casual workers.

"Our goal will be to minimize, if not eliminate, the negative impact – the involuntary nature of this," O’Meara said.

Hayes said Times management was willing to discuss buyouts – six workers in the targeted areas have been with the company more than 30 years – as well as Guild proposals to place affected employees in other jobs.

O’Meara also requested financial details about the proposed mail distribution subcontracting arrangement so that the Guild could try to find an alternative with comparable savings that doesn’t cost jobs.

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More on Times Layoffs