Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
THE DAY AFTER BADLY HANDLED PD FIRINGS
Submitted by Roldo on Wed, 12/03/2008 - 18:32.
How badly handled was the layoff plan at the Plain Dealer?
It seemed designed by lawyers to set tensions at the high level.
Plain Dealer staff people yesterday themselves had to wonder who had gotten the ax. Nobody knew. Those who came to work nervously watch who else came to work and who didn’t. That was how they determined whether colleagues were still colleagues or out on the street with no health insurance.
The reason for this clumsy and embarrassing situation was the lack of any notice to the staff of the decisions that had been made. Couldn’t they at that point have provided a list of the unlucky?
Editorial workers have been facing the doom day for some time. They have known that 50 people – either by choice or by dismissal – had to be gone from the editorial offices at 1801 Superior.
This, according to staffers, made everyone nervous, even those who likely knew they were not going to be among the losers.
In addition to wearing black clothing, I’m told that every person in the city room yesterday wore a printed sticker the size of those “Hello. I’m…” labels that said “Our Pledge – Unity.”
Egger, I’m told, hasn’t been showing his face around the city room lately where editorial workers toil.
However, Goldberg made an appearance later in the day and talked with individual people telling them that she knows it was a difficult time and appreciated their work.
The editorial staff now sits “about at 185ish,” said one. That possibly is about half of what it was at its height.
Plain Dealer people met at Becky’s on E. 18th Street, near the editorial office building last night.
In a message, former PD staffer Lou Mio wrote, “Just got back from Becky’s where almost wall-to-wall reporters, photogs, copy desk folks, few retirees, etc. gathered for a combination commiseration/glad I made the cut list get together.”
The call received by those dismissed was scripted, it was said, with Goldberg essentially reading from the script to some 27 dismissed. The remainder for the 50 came with people who choose to leave the PD. Unfortunately, for the newspaper some people left that the editors didn’t want to see leave.
The people told not to report to work have been advised to come to retrieve their belongings and sign legal papers on Saturday. They have been told to come in the back door.
In a last act of defiance, some said they would take the front door.