Most of Gannett's 31,000 workers will be taking a week off in the first quarter--unpaid. The furlough is intended to prevent layoffs at the country's largest newspaper company.
Editor and Publisher has some of Gannett's editors' responses here. No surprise that Laura Rehrmann, managing editor of the Washington Bureau, reportedly told staffers in an E-mail: No, you can't take a furlough week next week." (Inauguration week--bad time for an unpaid vacation).
I've written a couple of times recently about how few companies seem to make cost-cutting efforts in regards to wages, instead choosing layoffs-- which, according to some research, may actually prolong recessions.
While a required week without pay is no doubt discomforting to Gannett staffers, it's of some relief to see a company trying to avoid making more staff cuts (Gannett cut about 10 percent of its staff late last year). Newspapers, like other businesses, are acutely aware that continued trimming of payroll can really cause deterioration of their product and damage to their business longterm.