First they came for the janitors....

Dateline: Fri 25 May 2012

Latest from the Indianapolis Star, which knows nothing, but nothing, about running a local newspaper under Gannett. Crotchfelt is the publisher, although goodness knows, her interest is far from publishing anything people are compelled to read.


"From: Crotchfelt, Karen
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 2:26 PM
To: Messages to INI
Subject: Facility Maintenance Outsourcing Effort
Importance: High





Gannett launches Facilities Maintenance and Operations outsourcing effort


Starting May 22, 2012, Gannett is launching Phase 1 of its facilities maintenance outsourcing initiative.  Indianapolis has been selected for Phase 1 of this effort.

 The company is consolidating facilities maintenance and some in-house facilities operations at 34 U.S. Community Publishing, Gannett Publishing Services sites, TV stations, and at corporate headquarters through a partnership with ABM Facility Services, Inc.  ABM is one of the country?s largest facility services contractors, with more than 265 offices across the U.S., including offices in the majority of Gannett markets. 

 Services to be provided through this facility management contract with ABM include: general maintenance; electrician services; generator maintenance; power storage and distribution maintenance; fire alarm system maintenance; sprinkler system maintenance; HVAC; plumbing; security; and landscaping.

 All affected members of Gannett facility support staff will have the opportunity to apply for employment with ABM Facility Services, Inc., pending fulfillment of ABM?s conditions of employment and staffing requirements.  Employees who choose to not apply for a position with ABM, or do not otherwise transition employment with ABM, are eligible for separation benefits. Depending on staffing needs, affected members of Gannett facility support staff hired by ABM may continue supporting Gannett operations or may be assigned to other ABM accounts.

 Through this partnership, Gannett is taking advantage of its size and scale to maximize cost savings. The company will save money by getting better pricing on supplies, services and other purchases through ABM?s extensive network of national vendor contracts and ABM?s leveraged purchasing capability."

This is simply another endeavor to crush the newspaper union, the Guild, as well as ruin people's lives and jobs.

Does anyone know anything about ABM?

Thanks to those who sent this my way.




Been There [unverified] said:

Does not the Guild contract protect the jobs of building services personnel through the term of the current agreement?

2012-05-25 12:18:56

Fred Ramos [unverified] said:

"Phase 1 of its facilities maintenance outsourcing initiative." What the hell does this mean?

2012-05-26 06:05:16

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Fred: it means the janitors are laid-off.

A little Google work: Henrik Slipsager is CEO of this union-busting organization. Its board is full of right-wing zealots, most notably Linda Chavez, who was Pres. George W. Bush's Labor Dept. secretary nominee in 2001...until she had to withdraw for having paid illegal immigrants to work in her home. She also founded a large anti-union PAC in 2007. There's one signal of the corporation's GroupThink. There are others:

This large corporatioon's parent company also seeks municipal parking management contracts. Wonder if they've met the Ballard administration's geniuses who want to out-source everything? Our parking contract rape already occured. It poitns out that these anti-union thugs often turn to the public treasuries to supplement their warchests.

It's all part of the plan.

It would appear Gannett's management is overrun with anti-union sentiment. Who woulda thunk?

2012-05-26 06:40:53

hendy [Member] said:

This is a harbinger of things to come. The Times-Picyayne in New Orleans, now as the only daily, being printed 3x a week.

Gannett, to increase profitability and to reduce a potential purchaser's liabilities (pension,insurance, union contracts, debt) has to reduce what they can. High-cost employees (usually maintenance, janitorial, and low wage employees) have roughly the same overhead costs as execs. This means they're the first to be 'outsourced' so that costs can be a single line item-- usually at a lower cost. It's also the same fallacy as reducing government jobs. It's rife with cronyism, and subjugation on the part of the new old employees that are now employed with reduced benefits and cost-- DOING THE SAME JOB.

Just like outsourcing editorial to India, Gannett will try to cut costs for increased profitability wherever they can, without regard to their employees-- just their top executive staff. The damn thing is: with a bad job market, they can get away with it. No one will cry foul for what it is, because they need their retirement money, and there is no competition, because IndyStar is a monopoly, cleverly executed by the Pulliams when the Indpls Times went down.

Bottom line: not unexpected boorish behavior.

2012-05-26 07:01:07

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I'm mostly with ya, Hendy, but...when in the hell did a Star janitor's pay package approach anything near the Gannett Exec Suite packages?


The more those execs cut and scrape, in this Odd Economy, the more they're rewarded.

Couple that with a dwindling reader base, ad base, and interest's a dangerous combo. Bain Capital didn't exist in a vacuum--it's THE business model post-Reagan.:

Cut, combine, compress, sell off...rinse, cycle, repeat.

2012-05-27 07:25:09

IndyRob [unverified] said:

Point about the line item. Total executive pay and benefits is on the same order as total maintenance worker pay and benefits. An executive gets paid multiples of a maintenance worker; the executive editor gets paid approximately 30 times as much as a maintenance worker ($600k verses 20k). This outsourcing probably cuts maintenance costs between 10% to 20% mostly due to the difference in retirement benefits. The same savings could be achieved by cutting exec comp by 10 to 20%; unfortunately that is the group who decides where cuts can be made.

2012-05-27 12:02:02

ComputerWheels [Member] said:

Hendy, whoa, did I miss something?

"potential purchaser" and "outsourcing editorial to India"?? Want to elaborate on those?

2012-05-27 12:20:08

hendy [Member] said:

TTT-- the overhead costs of employment-- NOT the salaries themselves-- are the cost per individual to employ them. This means matching 401ks, insurance, HR cost/employee, and so forth. SS matching, you get the idea. The place is top heavy. They get to reduce "head count" (an ugly word for: people), and therefore look more attractive to financiers and potential buyers-- it's a line item, as mentioned above.

In terms of outsourcing other functions, Gannett has tried to find ways to outsource non-news editorial functions, just as Pearson, HFM (now in bankruptcy), Hatchette, and others have done. "Custom publications" are usually the first ones to get sampled, in terms of outsourced editorial. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Unions bristle. Lots of dissent, and lots of stupid culture-difference problems ensue. But it saves money, just like manufacturing the iPad you have by neo-slave labor in China saves Apple, an ostensibly US company, oodles of money and has made them the highest market cap public entity on earth.

You're seeing the leading edge of a wave that will hit IndyStar, and they won't be alone. Like radio/tv, they've gone stupid, hanging on to old memes and big presses. They're relevant once in a while. But the majority of you that aren't listening to the radio will find who won the 500 today by a means other than the auspices of the Indianapolis Star. All you likely read was the gossip during the run-up to the race.

Let it die. Maybe it will be reborn. Maybe not.

2012-05-27 14:30:35

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Radio-TV "gone" stupid? Good Lord they "went" in 1965.

Even the stupidest Indiana politician (and there are many) has known for three decades how to work the electronic media.

Oy vey.

2012-05-28 05:14:20

escapedbeforebeinggannettized [unverified] said:

What's interesting is that if you look at what little help wanted ads there are in the Sunday Star, the Star always runs an ad for themselves with anywhere from 8-13 job openings within the advertising & marketing departments.
They can't keep positions filled because of the turnover. Like everywhere else in the building, those depts. are a trainwreck and the lack of training, the pressure to handle the workload of two jobs for each one you have and the pressure to bring in revenue results are overwhelming & unrealistic. Lack of leadership (lots of suits, no leaders) just keeps the cycle going.
You know it has to be bad if they continually have openings during these times/economy. Another example of where they just don't get it.

2012-06-01 07:46:34

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