Time Inc. Layoffs: Surveying the Wreckage

If you can stand another memo on the Time Inc. layoffs, we've got one. This one comes from the Newspaper Guild, and it gives a pretty good look at what Time Inc. wants its "volunteers" to walk away from. Those numbers after the jump.

BLOODBATH AT 1271 AND BEYOND;
'MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE'
IS MASSACRED

Time Inc. Wields Unmerciful Ax

Two years ago, Ann Moore, Time Inc.'s Chief Executive, was hailing its employees as its "most valuable resource." Thursday, after completing a year in which it notched a profit of about 18%, Time Inc. announced plans to slash almost 300 jobs company-wide, more than 100 of them Guild-represented.

In a world where Time Inc. continues to have layoffs, justifying them as "business decisions" and playing to Wall Street, we have become casualties in a war of profits. When is the top going to start sharing the pain?

The only hint of good news to Guild-represented Employees is that the job cuts will be conducted under the terms set down in the Contract that was due to expire on February 1. The severance-pay formula designated in the pact is the one that will be followed. When talks began in January, the company balked at the usual agreement to keep the current Contract in effect while a new one was being negotiated. At the most recent session held on Tuesday, January 16, Time Inc. agreed to extend the current pact until March 22.

The staff cuts were made in a series of meetings on Thursday except at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, where the compensating day for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday was being celebrated. At SI, where Guild officials were told that up to 22 positions we represent are going to be sliced, the traumatic news was delivered in an email.

Hardly a Moment's Notice
Guild officials are normally given advance notice of details of a layoff. This year, Time Inc. officials apparently decided a half hour's notice was enough, scheduling a meeting with the Guild at 9:30 a.m. and a series of meetings with employees in the Time & Life Building starting at 10. In Miami it was even worse: Four members of PEOPLE magazine's Miami Bureau were told at 9:30, during the management announcement to the Guild in New York, that the operation there would close.

The Grim Elimination Numbers
What the Guild was told was that at TIME magazine, the company will be seeking "up to 40" volunteers to leave their jobs including:
3 artists
3 copy editors
1 negative reader
1 assistant photo lab technician
2 news desk assistants
2 news desk editors
1 letters correspondent
4 research librarians
8 reporter-researchers in New York
1 reporter-researcher in the District of Columbia bureau
1 reporter-researcher who handles the Map Room in New York
4 editorial assistants
Any combination of 5 writer-reporters or writer-editors
4 correspondents in the D.C. bureau

The News Desk will be closed. In addition, the Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta bureaus will be closed, which will bring the total job loss at TIME of up to 49 people.

At PEOPLE, Time Inc. said it was seeking "up to" 25 volunteers including:
2 page coders
3 copy editors
3 negative readers
1 low resolution scanner
1 letters correspondent
5 reporter-researchers
3 writer-reporters
7 writer-editors

In addition, Time Inc. said it was closing the PEOPLE bureaus in Chicago, District of Columbia, Austin, and Miami, bringing the total PEOPLE job loss to up to 38.

At SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time Inc. said it was seeking "up to" 22 cuts, including:
3 copy clerks
1 copy coordinator
1 copy editor
1 imaging specialist
3 photographers
1 news desk assistant
1 reporter-researcher
4 editorial assistants
1 writer-reporter
6 writers
The News Bureau at SI will cease to exist.

In the Picture Collection: 1 picture cataloger

The Guild will continue to represent and try to help the people affected. The Guild is here to give advice. We welcome any questions. Don't hesitate to call Unit Chair, Alex Blanco, Grievance Chair, Edith Fried, 1st Vice Chair John Shostrom, or Local Guild Representative Bob Townsend.

The Company's Attack on Future Severance

In the meantime, the Guild is embroiled in a very difficult Contract negotiation with Time Inc. management, which has proposals on the table to slash notice pay altogether in cases of job reduction and reduce severance pay, which makes up the other part of a job elimination package. The company wants to reduce severance to 2 weeks' pay per year of service with a 52-week cap.

The Guild's strength at the bargaining table is derived through its membership. If you're not a member, support the union in our effort to maintain an equitable contract and join the Guild. Contact Unit Chairperson Alex Blanco at xxx (while still here) or Local Guild Representative Bob Townsend at xxx.
###