McClatchy Cuts Jobs, Outsources to India  

I wish I were kidding, from the Associated Content site:

lenty of Kansas Citians are up in arms over a recent announcement that The Kansas City Star is outsourcing all of the jobs of those who are in the advertising services department - in fact, their entire digital advertising team, according to one blog - to India. The jobs are being outsourced to Infosys Technologies in Bangalore, India. The employees were notified by memo, and the following day The Kansas City Star included a brief in the paper in the business section. The news reported that nine employees were laid off, however in fact there were several more in total. One of the released employees is a very old friend of mine who had been with the company for a number of years.

Now, as if this weren't enough of a blow, the kicker is this: the employees will retain their employment until after their replacements - who are being flown in, and put up here in Kansas City - have been trained by the displaced employees. And furthermore, according to a blog comment from the best friend of one of those laid off, The Kansas City Star is not giving letters of recommendation to those being let go! Talk about serious insult to injury.

So, when I read on the McClatchy new release today, it seemed to just all fit together:

"We have been transitioning steadily and successfully from a traditional newspaper company to an integrated multimedia company for some time," said McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt. "The effects of the current national economic downturn -- particularly in real estate, auto and employment advertising -- make it essential that we move faster now to realign our workforce and make our operations more efficient. I'm sorry this requires the painful announcement we are making today, but we're taking this action to help ensure a healthy future for our company."

A number of newpapers are unionized, from the press room floor and in some cases, including reporters. So, the news today that Knight Ridder (McClatchy bought Knight Ridder last year) will have to cut jobs while they have also been pushing the strategy of outsourcing the art department jobs, well, it's disappointing at best. At worst, well, I just don't have words to describe the devestation this will bring to families across this country.

I just wish I had some good labor news lately.

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