Tribune Co. attorneys announced today that they won approval from a judge to change the companies non-union severance policy. The changes would apply to future layoffs, like the ones coming to the LA Times any day now.
Under the new policy employees laid off by Tribune Co. in 2009 will receive two weeks pay for the first year of employment and one week for each additional year worked.
That's half the standard amount given to those laid off in 2008, whose severance was a weeks pay for every 6 months worked.
From the Chicago Tribune:
"We don't intend to give them more than what the market bears at this time," Tribune attorney Kevin Lantry assured the judge.
Lantry said the company anticipates "a number of layoffs" this year, but he did not provide a figure or details on how much money the severance program might involve.
"I hate to, in a public forum, articulate anticipated layoffs," said Lantry, who said after the hearing that the situation is fluid and that the company's projections could very well change.
Note: This is in sharp contrast to the recent buyout offered to ABC Network Television employees covered by NABET Local 16. The ABC techs are being offered 3 weeks pay to leave if they give up their recall rights.
It is good to have a Union. It is even better to have a good Union.