Thursday, September 11, 2008

Union-Tribune Employees Camp Out All Night in Lobby To Be First in Line To Get Buyout Forms

By Don Bauder | Posted September 2, 2008, 9:56 a.m.

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About 50 Copley Press employees, anxious to be first in line to get forms for the latest buyout, camped out last night in the U-T lobby in Mission Valley, sleeping on the floor, cots, couches, and futons. Today (Sept. 2) was the first day that employees could fill out forms, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Some had been in the lobby for two days. At least 150 were lined up this morning before 8:30 a.m. It was important to be early in line because when employees will be selected for the buyout Sept. 11, requests will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the buyout announcement of Aug. 28. In the buyout, employees electing to leave the company will get an amount equal to two weeks of base pay for every year of continuous employment up to 52 weeks. In late July, Copley announced that it is putting the company up for sale. Employee rumors currently run the gamut: some hold out hope that a buyer will come in and try to make the Union-Tribune into a responsible news organization. Others believe an asset stripper will come in, sell off the physical assets, whack employment, and try to milk the paper for a few years, then liquidate it. Despite a lot of bitterness, some employees believe that owner David Copley did not have to make this latest buyout offer; he could have left the head-chopping to the new owner, or could simply have laid off employees without any buyouts. Go to the San Diego Reader!



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