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Yesterday afternoon, ICM announced to its entire staff that now that an industry-crippling strike could hit at any moment, it seems like as good a time as any to hang on to a week of everyone's pay, giving the agency the "financial flexibility" it needs to keep the lights on. Sure, this unexpected move might cause "short-term financial challenges" to those employees who might find it difficult to afford luxuries like "food" and "shelter," but they're confident that the angry mob of assistants on the verge of rioting will extinguish their torches and lay down their pitchforks once they realize that missing 50 percent of their paychecks isn't due to a "salary reduction," just some little payroll system changes they'd been planning for a long time. The e-mail announcing the paycheck reduction follows; sadly, the agency's partners made no official offer to allow any adversely affected staffers to crash on their couches if their next rent checks bounce:

Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 To: #All ICM Subject: Payroll Notification

Dear Colleagues,
On Friday, November 16th, all employees will receive a paycheck that reflects one week's pay, as opposed to the usual two. This is not a salary reduction. It is simply a change in the timing of when we pay our employees.

We had planned to implement this change to a more customary payroll schedule at the end of December, but with a potential strike on the horizon, implementing this payroll change immediately provides the agency with more financial flexibility.

We know that, for some of you, this may cause some short-term financial challenges, and we wanted to give you as much notice as possible.

Human Resources is available to answer any of your questions.

Thank you,
Human Resources
International Creative Management
10250 Constellation Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90067