Jeff Smith 12:15 p.m., April 24
U-T Axes 14 in Pressroom Without Buyouts
Last Friday (Jan. 4), the Union-Tribune laid off 14 employees in the pressroom. That's out of a total of about 100, according to George Huber, secretary-treasurer of the union local, an affiliate of the Teamsters. Employees had wanted to get buyouts, as others in the company got, but were turned down because they belonged to a union. They received what was in their union contract. One pressman with 15 years of service got a check for four weeks of wages, vacation pay, and two weeks of "notice pay." (The employees had expected the layoffs around Christmas, hence received the extra two weeks.) The union has been picketing aggressively, and, in paid advertisements, asking San Diegans to drop their subscriptions. Huber, along with others in the union, believe the paper may not make it. Among the layoffs were one person who had suffered a stroke and another who had gone to Iraq twice with the military. I did not go to the U-T for comment because it has consistently refused to talk about personnel matters.