By now, most of you have seen Kevin Riley’s email concerning layoffs. So the rumors are true.
On Friday, Kevin asked Guild President Lou Grieco for an 11:30 a.m. meeting today. Kevin and Lou spoke for about a half hour. After this initial meeting, Kevin sent out his email.
The Guild does not have any additional information about the scope of the layoffs. Kevin told Lou what he included in his email: the newsroom will lose “less than 10” positions, and two managers have been laid off.
In early September, we were given a list of the entire unit organized by job classification, in descending order of seniority. Today we received the first notification of layoffs. Under the work rules, the company has 30 days to give us a proposed list of affected employees.
We won’t know any specifics until then. The Company has not yet offered any specifics as to who will be laid off, or in what job classifications. We do not even have a specific number. Kevin told Lou that those decisions have not been made.
The Guild appreciates that the Company was forthright and up front in its discussions today. We hope that this is the approach that will be taken throughout the process to try to prevent a bad situation from getting worse through politics.
Kevin has promised that the Company is going to follow the work rules, which include provisions for staff reductions and severance pay. Basically, the company will be required to layoff in reverse order of hire by job classification. There is a provision that allows the Company to skip over people due to “special skills,” but to use that provision, the company must offer 30 days of training for the employee who was deemed not to have those skills. We do not expect this provision will be a major factor.
Our goal will be to work with the company to ensure that the work rules are followed, that the practices are consistent and fair, and that this difficult situation is handled as humanely as possible. We will also work with the company, if possible, to try to find alternatives to layoffs. Ideas from Guild members are welcome, of course. We doubt if we can find enough alternatives to prevent all layoffs, but perhaps we can reduce the scope. Every job counts.
When we know more, we will share the information. We are planning a meeting Wednesday at noon at the Dayton Area Board of Realtors to answer your questions.
This is obviously a painful difficult process for everyone. But we promise: the Guild will be watching out for your best interests. If you’ve ever doubted the importance of union representation, what happened last week to two managers should convince you otherwise. We are stronger together than as individuals. Through the Guild, you have a voice in very difficult times.