January 29, 2009

MediaNews mandates one-week furloughs

MediaNews Group has told 3,000 staff members at its California newspapers to take a one-week furlough or face possible layoffs.

MediaNews sent an e-mail to staff members at 29 newspapers informing them of the directive, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

Human Resources Vice President Charles Kamen said the company was following the example of Gannett Co., which issued the same directive to 3,100 employees recently.

Union representative Sara Steffens said the company would have to discuss the issue with union leaders before the furloughs could take place, the Chronicle said.

The e-mail, however, said the company was confident union members would accept the furloughs as a means of avoiding layoffs, to the degree that can be accomplished.