Wednesday, September 17, 2008

D-day: Oct. 17


Management has notified Providence's newspaper union that Friday, Oct. 17, is the target day for layoffs, The Rock has learned.

That date applies to all A.H. Belo newspapers. Corporate previously announced that layoffs would be completed by mid-to-late October.

News of management's notification in Providence corroborates details passed along yesterday by one of our commenters.

Two major questions still unknown to most of the staff are how many employees will be laid off and what will be the process for the cuts.

We will pass along more details as we get them.


Anonymous said...

Worth noting that people may want to think about taking care of some last-minute business while still on the payroll. Still time to have that bad tooth pulled, for instance. Or a voluntary appendectomy.
Also, if one has outstanding loans from a 401k, the company is likely to call that due as soon as someone leaves.

Anonymous said...

The Rock is to be commended for paying attention to Pro-Jo news. Very sharp to piggyback on the information that has to be provided to the Guild. It's also pathetic that DMNers have to learn our fate from a newspaper most of us have never seen and people we have never met.
But thank goodness for them.

Anonymous said...

One more thing. By now, everyone should be aware that the company will require those who are laid off to sign a release. Among other things, the document pledges you to not filing suit against the company. This does not let them off the hook for violations of federal or state employment laws. Ask the 18 former staffers laid off in 2004 who have a pending federal lawsuit against Belo.
Some managers are convinced that that layoff in 2004 was handled so poorly that the company will end up paying for its mistakes - literally. Even the HR guy in charge at that time quit in despair. Good thing we have the A Team this time around.

Anonymous said...

As soon as people get hauled into their meeting with HR and their immediate boss on Oct. 17, your computer sign-on is going to be disabled. Might want to consider backing up potentially valuable info (like contacts?) right now.

Anonymous said...

Is that how it works? You meet HR and your boss, get the bad news, and then what? Do guards escort you out? Do you get to clean out your desk, pack up the family pictures?

Have you in Dallas ever tried to organize a union?

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in knowing more about the federal lawsuit stemming from the '04 layoffs. Anyone have any or can point me toward a blog that has the story? Just curious for curiosity's sake.

Anonymous said...

In 2004, people were given time to collect their things. It wasn't as bad as being escorted from the building by security. But no one was encouraged to linger either.

If you want to read about the lawsuit, you can trot down to the district clerk's office in the federal courthouse and read the file. It's styled Powell v. The Dallas Morning News. The case number is 06-cv-1960. Or if you can get access through the federal records database, PACER, you can read it online. Sorry, there is no shorthand version. One of the plaintiff's says the case is set for trial next July. We'll see if it gets that far. Belo has never had an employee case of such magnitude get into a courtroom. Settlement is preferred.

Death said...

Should we talk about what happened in 2004? As in some of us getting together to take up a funds drive for those who are laid off?

Anonymous said...

Security escort you out? What security? They've already been reduced.

Do you have to sign the form? What can they do to you if you don't?

I'd love for the whole staff to be "sick" on Oct. 17, including the managers that have to break the bad news. If that is the real date. I'm checking my e-mail for the official note on that, but I haven't seen it yet. That's odd.

Anonymous said...

Better check with a lawyer regarding the releases; I believe it does protect Belo against future suits (in exchange for your severance). No releases were offered or signed for the 10/27 RIF group in '04. It's possible that's because if they want a release to be signed, and the targeted employee is over 40, by law they have to show you the titles and ages of all the other people in your category who were and weren't laid off, as I understand it. They also have to give you time to consider and sign it, and then there's a waiting period (7 days, I think) before you'd get your check.