Newspaper guild: TU layoffs coming

tu newspaper boxUpdate Friday 7:45 pm: the TU's publisher has announced it will be cutting costs (not necessarily jobs) by 20 percent -- no word on how many job cuts.

The Albany Newspaper Guild, which represents many of the Times Union's employees, reported this evening that it was told by George Hearst, the TU's new publisher, that layoffs are coming to the paper. From the guild's blog:

He declined to publicly discuss numbers or say when an announcement would be made, but said it was imminent. "A notification will be going out to employees in the early days ahead," Hearst said at a contract negotiating session with the Guild.

While any round of layoffs is sure to be hard, it sounds like there could be a big fight between Hearst Corp, the TU's parent company, and the union. Apparently the current union contract requires job cuts to be based on seniority -- last hired, first fired. But, according to the Guild, the paper is moving to cut people based on performance.

These layoffs aren't surprising news. The newspaper industry as a whole has been crumbling over the past year. Hearst Corp has been talking about shutting down some of its most prominent newspapers -- including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the San Francisco Chronicle. And the TU just recently let go many of its part time staff.

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