Gannett orders furloughs

Dateline: Wed 14 Jan 2009

Michael Kane, publisher of the Indianapolis Star, has sent an email today advising employees that furloughs are in effect. This means workers will take a mandatory five days off this quarter, without pay.

The news comes from Bob Dickey, who is president of US Community Publishing. The Indianapolis Star email from the publisher is addressed to all "Star media employees."

Here is the attachment from Dickey, with thanks to readers who sent it this way.

"VIA E-MAIL\t\t\t\t\tJan. 14, 2009

To: \tAll US Community Publishing employees

From: \tBob Dickey

The national recession is worsening and companies across America, inside and outside of our industry, are taking bold steps to help offset the current situation.

Like others, Gannett has had to make some very difficult decisions over the past year. Having to reduce staff, reformat newspapers and end delivery to some customers has had a deep impact on our company and all of us. We have consulted with many of you on how to minimize the impact on our readers and customers.

With your help and commitment, we have continued publishing quality products and populating Web sites daily. We are innovating and growing our digital businesses. We are working to emerge from this downturn with new energy and new solutions for our customers. Due to our financial management, Gannett remains an industry leader.

Unfortunately, the advertising environment is still difficult and the economic issues unprecedented. We must take additional steps even as we focus on growing our local readership and market share revenues.

As a result of your feedback, and in an effort to minimize the need for more layoffs, I have decided to take another approach as we enter 2009. To that end, every non-represented employee in the USCP division will be furloughed for five business days during this quarter. That includes me, your publisher, everyone. Unions will be asked to accept furloughs in lieu of layoffs. We all will be sharing the financial hardship.

To be clear, a furlough means you will not work and will not be paid for furlough days.

Exempt, salaried employees must take one full payroll week within the pay period. Non-exempt, hourly employees may take five days at any pre-approved time before the last weekend in March.

If you are not sure which category you are in, check with your Human Resources representative. Also, a fact sheet is attached that should answer any questions you may have. If not, talk with your supervisor or email me at rdickey@gannett.com.

I am determined to maintain our operations, provide the best local news and information for our readers and help keep Gannett a healthy company. I thank you in advance for joining me in achieving this goal."

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