If layoffs do occur, how will they actually unfold?

There’s been some questions regarding the process and order of the company’s scheduled reduction in force. Let me state up front that I can’t speak for the company but, based on past experience, this is how it will probably go down:

On September 9, the paper will call for a meeting (we tend to find out just minutes before our members, often at the same time). At that meeting they will report which members volunteered for the layoff (something we may or may not already know) and that, because of the projected savings from those positions, whether or not they need to cut any other positions to get to their targeted goal (a figure they have not chosen to share with anyone).

Because our contract now includes a provision that allows management to exclude a certain number of positions from layoff, the company would then, if they desired to use that provision, inform us of the names of the employees they were choosing to protect, as well as the names of the employees that they were dismissing. All of this can be found in our contract in Article 14 (Security), Section 2 – pages 33 and 34.

The company, had they not already started to do so, would then begin notifying the affected employees and “such dismissals shall be made effective two weeks after the date of the notice…” (Art 14, 2). This could mean that the employees will be required to work the two weeks or the company could decide to dismiss them immediately and pay them for the two weeks. Both situations have occurred since layoffs started at the paper (the contract states that it is the employer’s option). However, management once left it up to the employees to decide whether or not they wanted to work their final two weeks or just leave and be paid for it.

Anyone with questions about this or any other issue, should call the Guild office at 314-241-7046 or contact their steward.