The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia

About layoffs, hybrid work and disrespect

Dear Guild members:

If you attended or tuned into today’s newsroom meeting, you heard the questions and answers regarding layoffs and hybrid work adjustments.

I have been quiet on these issues because Bill Ross and I have been spending the past many weeks trying to convince Inquirer leadership that layoffs are inhumane, horrible for morale and the sign of a failing company.

During those same meetings, we have been negotiating to see whether adjustments to the current hybrid work policy could be reasonable, considerate and not impose financial hardship, especially on some of our lowest paid members.

My last assertion was that if this company wants to encourage employees to come into the office more, the fastest way to kill that vibe is to put some of our members out of work.

Our discussions continue, which is why I have not put out anything on this. I know this is an unbearable existence, to not know whether you are going to continue to have a job or not. It is my hope that this company gets on with the business of growing subscribers rather than axing people who work so hard to help this company attempt to reach goals and continue to be the information source we brag so much about in branding campaigns.

Layoffs are a cancer. They erode the body, in this case, the body being the collective Inquirer workforce.

And speaking of that, I don’t expect Guild members to agree on everything, but I sure do expect us to treat each other with respect. That did not happen in today’s newsroom meeting when a very nasty comment about a colleague’s work was made, I might add, in the most cowardly way: anonymously.

Shame on you, whoever you are.

In solidarity and trying to remain hopeful,