Guild: "a pool of volunteers for the layoffs"

Dateline: Wed 29 Oct 2008

Oct. 28, 2008

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To our colleagues in the Indianapolis Newspaper Guild:

In light of publisher Michael Kane's note this afternoon about Gannett's intent to slash payroll by up to 95 positions here, Indianapolis Newspaper Guild representatives huddled with Dennis Ryerson, offering in very clear terms to help establish a pool of volunteers for the layoffs so that no one has to exit involuntarily. We have no idea how many in our roughly 230-person bargaining unit will be targeted; however, under our plan, the volunteers would get the same

benefits as offered by the company (actually, mandated by the Contract), and we would waive seniority considerations for anyone who voluntarily entered a pool of candidates for layoffs. We see that as a

win-win situation, under the circumstances.

Dennis made no commitment to our proposal, nor could he today. But he will present it to corporate.

You should note that while the Guild can grieve and arbitrate what we believe are violations of the Contract, we can only do this post hoc, meaning after the violations are alleged to have occurred. That's what

we've done with the first wave of layoffs this summer. We are in the binding arbitration phase on those, but the matter might not be settled for months.

If the company rejects volunteers, we will fight for seniority rights, a cornerstone of collective bargaining agreements, and we will win on that score.

For the Guild,

Abe Aamidor, president"

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