Friday, February 6, 2009

Bloomberg L.P. Cuts 100 Jobs, a First for the Company

By MICHAEL BARBARO
The New York Times

Bloomberg L.P., the financial news and data firm, said on Wednesday that it had cut 100 jobs, the first layoffs since it was founded by Michael R. Bloomberg 28 years ago.

A spokeswoman for the company, Judith Czelusniak, said the cuts had occurred in Bloomberg’s radio and television divisions, which are being reorganized around the world.

Most of those laid off are based in New York City, where Bloomberg has its headquarters. The cuts represent about 1 percent of the company’s more than 10,000 employees.

With the layoffs, Mr. Bloomberg’s private and public worlds seem to be colliding. As mayor, he is proposing thousands of job cuts to close a big gap in the city’s budget.

Mr. Bloomberg, who founded the company after leaving Wall Street in 1981, is the majority owner of Bloomberg L.P. but no longer plays a day-to-day management role.

The reorganization of the TV and radio programming at Bloomberg is intended to reduce overlapping jobs within a far-flung network of international programming and channels, the company said.

Bloomberg TV, which has been broadcast around the world on up to 11 channels, is trying to create “a single English-language global network,” said Andy Lack, who heads the company’s multimedia operations. The company is trying to better compete with popular financial news networks like CNBC, which dominates the United States market.

The job cuts jolted the media world because Bloomberg, unlike its peers in journalism, had seemed largely immune to the economic downturn.

But the company said the layoffs were not linked to the recession. It plans to hire 1,000 workers in its news and financial divisions over the next year, many of them in New York

1 comment:

Jack said...

From: Jack Gordon
RE: Tribune To Shrink Severance Packages

Bob,

We have been friends and occasional co-workers for some time. We grew up and went to school in close enough proximity to share more than a casual understanding of each other. We agree and disagree in equal measure on many issues in politics and the workplace. I believe we have a strong mutual respect, and I thank you for your dedication to the interests of all working people.

You are aware that NABET Local 16 bargained away former seniority rules. Management now determines seniority according to “groups” that it alone defines. This actually eliminates the former framework for seniority protections.

This is readily apparent in the current round of lay-offs at ABC. Graphic operators are being laid off. Graphic artists are not. This is a new distinction and sub-categorization that could never exist previously.

During contract negotiations in 2007 and 2008 several of us at ABC were vehemently opposed to this contract for this and many other reasons. It is a bad contract. We do not have a good union. We have a weak union. However the union is only as strong as its membership. The same goes for democracy. Without an informed, actively involved membership (public/electorate) we get bad deals, not new deals or even good deals.

Silly me. I actually don’t fault the former leadership, now voted out of office. I attended several union meetings with leadership during contract negotiations. They had to “recommend” the revised contract in order to achieve slightly improved terms and break a negotiating deadlock.

Most rank & file who I talked with took that to mean leadership recommended ratification. Leadership never once said to ratify in the meetings I was in. Membership ratified this weak contract out of short sightedness and fear. Both are well founded in human nature.

I love my union brothers and sisters, but we are reaping what we sewed. We have a weak contract which does not protect us. It contains further give-backs, and provides wage increases that do not keep up with inflation and the real cost of living.

NABET has been very good to me for a very long time. I joined in the late 1970’s while working at a non-profit production and post facility that was a live access point to local cable. I twice owe the locals I have been represented by to beneficial terms after a lay-off.

It is a near certainty that there will be a third time.

I have had the good fortune to enjoy my work and co-workers immensely over a period of 40 years that saw profound change in technique and organization. What wonderful challenges and opportunities, and I made a living while doing what I enjoy.

In my opinion we are approaching a nadir in working peoples’ means of existence. We do not control the means of production as we once did. In our industry there are multiple platforms for a vast audience to access information and entertainment, not a concentrated few networks and periodical chains. Labor leverage is slight and disorganized, not to mention poorly informed and short sighted. However there are great opportunities for new, reinvigorated organization to evolve. The sheer numbers of people and dollars around the globe make this apparent.

In some ways this situation also applies to what is going on in our nation as well. In my opinion we are in very dire economic and political circumstances. Because we are not actively involved in the outcome of our local unions and government, nor national political and economic leadership, we are at the mercy of short sighted and self interested politicians who are beholden to their financial supporters.

I disagree with some of the provisions of the current economic revitalization bill in Congress, and with some of the President’s choices in personnel and policy. However Obama understands the body politic well. In my opinion this is the core message he sends. He cannot succeed in his vision for a stronger, safer, more equitable society without active support by those who voted for him or believe in what he stands for, or even agree that there are profound challenges that face us immediately. Tax cuts will not solve this crisis. A vast program of reinvention, renovation, and fundamental change will solve these challenges. It includes the National Endowment for the Arts. It requires dealing with environmental challenges, agricultural subsidies, smart technology, industrial espionage…all of the complexity of our crowded planet. All of our creativity, intelligence, and innovative capability are required to solve both economic and strategic threats.

Fortunately we are Americans. Our unique ability lies in our diversity and work ethic. It is no longer the unimaginably vast and bountiful resource wealth (forest, minerals, petroleum, etc.) of our forefathers that will fuel our future. It is our smarts. Perhaps those under the age of 30 understand this intuitively with their lithe minds and open approach to life. I hope so because it will enable them to find their way to comfort and security.

My first NABET local was smart, flexible, adaptive, unconventional. We grew out of a new technology that challenged the status quo with new products and services which we provided as technicians and engineers. We challenged established rules in labor relations and contracts and were disbanded by the international. Let not that example be the scenario we face as a nation. I wish us all the courage and fortitude to brave the storms that approach.

Take care brother.

Best Regards,

Jack Gordon
NYC, NY