Seattle Times employees are now publicly hashing out the best, or worst, ways to deal with their employer's cost-cutting plans, which include unpaid furloughs, pension freeze, and 12 percent pay/benefit cuts. They wonder if the well-off Blethen family ownership is sharing the misery, and ask what publisher Frank Blethen is giving back. As columnist Ron Judd puts it, "I doubt the company is likely to be willing to offer up diddly squat in exchange for concessions. It goes against the very fiber of its being."
He, like others now posting on the newly revamped Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild Web site, thinks the Times should make more cuts at the top. "Seriously. Does anyone really believe the layers of management in this company are truly necessary for its survival?" Says another poster: "I know of no manager that has been layed off! In our department we have 8 managers for less than 40 employees. Talk about top heavy!"
That same sales staffer notes that "In the last 2 years my parking has doubled, my insurance has doubled, as a salesperson we CAN'T make bonus. It will cost me $3200 more a year to work here in 09 than it did in 08. (Because of the loss of benefits) how much more are we supposed to sacrifice? The Times won't be happy until we owe them money to work here." And, asks another poster: "How much are the Blethen's putting back into the Kitty? Cut all their income by 20% that should make a dent. I know I'd live high on the HOG on 80% of Franks pay, he should be able to get by."