Thursday, July 17, 2008

How long – can this keep going on?

Inspired by the protest rally scheduled for today in Baltimore (along with encouragement from us and promoted by InkStainedRetch), Tribune employees in many departments around the country wore black in honor of the employee-owners laid off throughout the company.

In Baltimore today, more than 200 people gathered outside The Sun to express their grief and outrage at the loss of 100 talented colleagues. "Many Sun employees said they did not expect the protest to change management's mind about the cuts, but it still made them feel a bit better to unleash some of their anger and frustration. These employees believe that the paper is about to lose some of its most talented and experienced people, who are leaving "voluntarily" only because they fear what they will be asked to do if they stay." The Newspaper Guild's newly-elected top officers — TNG-CWA International Chairperson Connie Knox is a copy editor at The Sun — rallied with Sun employees telling the group "they stood behind both those leaving and those staying."

...[TNG President] Bernie Lunzer reminded everyone that these cuts are taking place all over the newspaper industry, and that those who stay must fight on as best they can to keep the newspaper's quality intact.
If we really want to honor the colleagues being forced out and support those remaining who want to "fight on" to keep all our newspapers intact, we must stand up and be counted. All the anger, fear and outrage folks are feeling today will be for nothing if it can't be channelled into constructive, positive action. Opportunities to change the status quo are before you. Just as journalists in Northern California did several weeks ago, you too can take back control of your future.

Worried? Scared? Unsure? Understandable. But ask yourself: If not now — when?

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