Thursday, November 27, 2008

For Tennessean, Gannett employees, Thanksgiving 2008 provides little time to celebrate blessings

Massive layoffs have marred the holiday season for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

No, God did not desert these good people and deny them the blessing of labor; it -- in many but not all cases -- was the fault of executives who put profits first over people.

However, I know great managers like Joe Zaracone at the Publix in Cool Springs who puts his people first along with the customers. And the employee-owned company returns the profits to its employees. So Publix is where I shop so the good people there can stay employed and their welfare secured.

But for employees at The Tennessean and at Gannett newspapers across the nation, Thanksgiving is a time of terrible worry. Massive layoffs are coming, at least 100 human beings in all departments at The Tennessean in the first week of December.

Not only will employees and their families lose income and security, but you the reader and advertiser will lose in the quality of product and service you receive. Meanwhile, ad rates or the price of a subscription won't be falling.

If I could persuade Gannett constructively, I'd tell its bonus-baby executives not to lay off the people who put all their heart and soul in their jobs. Keep them on the job. Take in less profits of 25% annually and build a better product that more people will buy. When the going gets tough, the tough are supposed to get going -- not laid off.

But I know this big corporation located hundreds of miles away will not listen.

So today around the dinner table with family and friends, say a prayer for these people who are hurting without jobs or who will soon be without jobs. And if your job is secure, thank God for such a great blessing in these most uncertain times.

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