Hartford Courant reporter Daniela Altimari tweeted that Tribune Publishing is pushing reporters and editors to take a three-week unpaid furlough at a time when readers need local journalists for crucial COVID-related updates. Altimari described the furloughs as “draconian measures” in her tweet.
The Laurel reported at the end of April that Tribune Publishing sought to extend furloughs and pay cuts to unionized staff after doing the same for nonunion employees.
The Hartford Courant Guild has pushed back, attempting to hold the attention of Tribune Publishing CEO Terry Jimenez and other executives.
Recently, on the Tribune Publishing Slack channel, the Courant Guild, along with other fellow Tribune guilds, protested the cost saving measures by writing their concerns and thoughts. They tagged Jimenez only to find that moments later, he deactivated his Slack account.
“Oh, uh, also, CEO Terry Jimenez deactivated his account very shortly after we started posting in Slack. But we’re sure that was a coincidence,” the Chesapeake News Guild wrote on Twitter.
Hartford Courant reporter Emily Brindley had this to say on Twitter:
“The cuts proposed by [Tribune Publishing] would save them about $550k across the unions. But at the same time, the company won’t commit to suspending shareholder dividends. So, they’ll pay millions to shareholders, but can’t absorb a fraction of that to keep their employees afloat?”