New Layoffs Begin at Commercial Appeal


"By the time you read this, managers should be well into the process of informing workers they are losing their jobs ..." So begins a letter today from Memphis Newspaper Guild president Mark Watson to members. It continues:

"In a meeting late Tuesday, Warren Funk, consulting with human resources, rejected talk of temporary wage cuts to save jobs. Then he informed us that management now plans to increase the number of job cuts in editorial to 19, up from a previously announced 18, and the number in circulation/customer service to seven, up from a previously announced four."

The Flyer has received several tips claiming that some well-known editorial employees have been axed. Out of respect for their privacy, we will not publish the names until we have fully sourced confirmation.

The letter continues: "We are deeply disappointed that management decided to make already destructive cuts even worse and we reserve the right to file a grievances or unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.

"Workers will be paid through March 27 regardless of whether they stay on the job or not. We have urged management to let workers continue to have access to the building through this period to wrap up projects and gather materials they need to apply for other jobs, and we hope they will honor this - it's unclear that they will."

In other news, the single-copy price of The Commercial Appeal rose from 50 cents to 75 cents this week.

More as this story develops.

--Bruce VanWyngarden

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