In difficult times, difficult things have to happen. Witness the job losses endemic in the U.S. newspaper industry, some of them to journalists and many of them to others in the business.
The Gannett newspaper chain has approached the challenge of cost-cutting in a different way than most. It is asking thousands of its employees to take a one-week unpaid leave in order to reduce payroll costs. In essence the math goes: A two-per-cent salary cut for a week off.
Given the American climate of recession, a salary loss is a lesser evil than the job loss. And typically American workers enjoy fewer holidays than do their counterparts in other countries, so the one-week break isn't likely holiday overkill.
In his analysis of the measure, Alan Mutter writes in Reflections of a Newsosaur that the move likely saves some 600 jobs, not inconsequential.
The Detroit Free Press has indicated it's not going to participate because it is engrossed in design and distribution changes shortly, but other titles in the vast chain are going to participate.