This morning I've been inundated with a series of comments and off-line tips about the announcement of the end of the lifetime job pledge at Booth papers. That would be the papers who haven't already flushed the pledge through more draconian measures.
Word from Grand Rapids is that it was announced that the job pledge would end in February 2010 and reportedly the publisher of the Kalamazoo Gazette, in a surprise employee meeting, announced the same thing.
If those two papers have dumped the job pledge, you can bet it has ended for the Muskegon Chronicle and Jackson Cit-Pat as well.
This has to be a precursor of more layoffs and salary cuts.
Not really a big surprise. We were always "at will" employees anyway and there have been firings of a questionable nature. In one case the Flint Journal didn't defend a firing of a colleague on its merits, but on the basis that all employees were "at will" and could be let go at any time.
The "lifetime job pledge" was never worth more than the paper it was written on anyway. It was worth something in those years when you could believe "the word" of the people running the company. Today, not so much.