Advertiser will lay off as many as 15 workers


POSTED: Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Honolulu Advertiser will lay off as many as 15 union members in three weeks, according to notices sent to their respective unions.

Eleven pressmen, members of the Hawaii Printing and Graphic Communications Union Local 413-N, will be laid off, said Terrence Derby Jr., union vice president.

The 11 appear to have been selected based on seniority.

Two or three other layoffs will come from the community press operation, said Wayne Cahill, administrative officer of the Hawaii Newspaper Guild. One of two archivists, a guild member, is to be cut effective June 5.

Advertiser Senior Vice President and Editor Mark Platte said he had not heard about layoffs, and other executives did not return calls.

In February the six unions representing the then 525 employees at the paper ratified a contract calling for a 10 percent pay cut.

It replaced a contract that expired in June 2007 after long, contentious talks and a strike authorization vote by the unions.

Since then the company, owned by Gannett Co., has laid off or given buyouts to more than 130 employees, citing the weak economy.

At the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, three unions voted last week to approve a wage freeze.