Plain Dealer Staff Awaits Monday Layoff Notices

Members of Northeast Ohio Newspaper Guild, Local 1 members stand in front of the Plain Dealer sign at the newspaper's office.
Members of Northeast Ohio Newspaper Guild, Local 1 members stand in front of the Plain Dealer sign at the newspaper's office. [GoFundMe]
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The Plain Dealer is expected to notify 14 Northeast Ohio Newspaper Guild, Local 1 members Monday that they no longer work for the company. The newspaper announced the layoffs two weeks ago.

Over the weekend, the union’s membership ratified an agreement reached between the Guild and Plain Dealer management that would affect “those whose jobs are being eliminated and those who will be left behind,” according to a statement from the Guild.

Monday’s layoffs are in addition to the PD’s December announcement to eliminate 29 jobs from its Pub Hub, of which 24 are union positions and five management, as part of a shift in page production to a centralized system. The union says one of the people laid off in December has since gotten a new job and another three Pub Hub positions have been moved to the newsroom, for a net reduction in union positions to 20.

Those layoffs will take effect in May. Monday’s layoffs take effect immediately. 

The deal reached Friday addresses overtime, vacation, and severance pay and cancels furlough days. Those being laid off can also choose to extend their health care benefits, the union’s statement says. It goes on to note that as part of the agreement, the union will cease its grievance against the Plain Dealer over its plan to outsource production jobs to a subsidiary of Advance Publications, the paper’s parent company. The new contract will be effective through February 2021.

“I am glad we were able to reach an agreement with the Guild and I want to thank the members of their negotiating team for their hard work,” said Plain Dealer President and Editor George Rodrigue. “They represented their members well in a very difficult situation.”

The Guild’s unit chair Ginger Christ says in its statement, “Fortunately, we were able to come to a deal that provides some benefit to everyone. That’s because we have a union. Without the Guild, we wouldn’t have had a seat at the table to advocate for our members.”

The newspaper guild previously proposed a subscription drive to save one job for every 500 subscriptions.

According to the union, some 340 people made up the Guild 20 years ago. Once all the layoffs are complete that number is expected to drop to 30.

 

This story has been updated to include a statement from Plain Dealer Editor George Rodrigue.

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that 12 union members would be laid off Monday. The number is 14. This story has also been updated to include additional details about the Pub Hub layoffs announced in December.

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