More Layoffs at the Commercial Appeal

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The Flyer obtained the following memo to Commercial Appeal employees from Reggie Sudduth, president of the Memphis Newspaper Guild.

Dear staff of The Commercial Appeal:

We met with management Monday afternoon. Here's what we know. The company proposes cutting a total of 27 jobs. Please note that this is not a final number. We're trying to find ways to reduce it.

The breakdown:

Accounting: One position

Production: Five (Two in warehouse, one in makeup, two in dispatch).

Retail advertising: Three assistant account representatives.

Marketing: Two writers.

Editorial: Eight (Four news assistants, two copy desk workers, two reporters).

Online: Three online content producers

Classified advertising: Five (Two on the contract desk, three voluntary -- the term "voluntary" here refers to a job function within the classified department.)

There could be other layoffs of workers not covered by the guild contract, such as managers, said Warren Funk, who represented the company at a meeting Monday along with human resources director Eunice Johnson. Funk wouldn't say how many other jobs the company plans to eliminate.

He said the company would consider voluntary departures instead of terminations. So if any of you in the areas targeted for cuts has considered retiring or leaving the company, your willingness to be part of this reduction in force could save someone else's job.

If you wish to volunteer to leave the company, please contact The Memphis Newspaper Guild's Daniel Connolly. Please don't delay. We want the names by our next meeting with the company, which is Thursday morning.

But we do plan to make sure that workers' rights are respected in this process and we will negotiate with the company so the former employees can receive severance packages.

The company has not provided the names of the workers it plans to cut, but has said Nov. 5 will be their last day on the job. We expect the workers’ names on Thursday, and we will also discuss with management how to notify these workers.

We will update you as soon as you (sic) know more.

Sincerely,

Reggie Sudduth

President

The Memphis Newspaper Guild

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