The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


June 20, 2019billrossInquirer

Dear Guild Members:

You received an email today from the Company that declared the beginning of yet another “new era” for us.

Sadly, this “New Era of Inquirer Journalism” is apparently one tone-deaf to the anxieties and worries of its employees.

How else to explain such an email thanking us “all” for “accepting this challenge” being delivered just as this Company is determining who among us will not be invited
to be part of this just-launched “five-year journey?”

Let me give credit where credit is due. The Company did acknowledge this might not have been the best time to lay out its plans for the future:

“We realize that this information is coming to you at a time when we are going through difficult staff reductions. All of us regret that we must take these steps.”

Nevertheless, the Company insensitively issued its eight-page “Report To The Company From Our Management Offsites” today.

Why not wait until all those who are departing voluntarily (though heavy-heartedly) and those who might be laid off are no longer here?

Granted, we evidently only have “fewer than five years to make fundamental changes in our business.” But was it really necessary to lay out the Company plan to “unlock
the future” today or any day while those who don’t even have a choice in staying are still here?

What an ill-timed, offensive Company communication.

Then again, this is a Company that threw a party to celebrate 190 years in business while those who helped it achieve such an awe-inspiring milestone were agonizing over
invitations to leave and others were off getting married wondering whether they would have jobs when they returned from their honeymoons.

Guild Executive Director Bill Ross and I have expressed to the Company our outrage over such a sad turn in the workplace culture.

We also asked for an update now that the buyout deadline for applications has passed and the Guild did not deliver the 30 volunteers the Company seeks. We are about 10
short. We were told no decision has been made on whether the Company will proceed to layoffs. The Company has scheduled a meeting with us for next Friday, June 28, at which it will have an answer, it says.

For now, get those new Guild T-shirts and comfortable footwear ready.

In solidarity,