A reader writes:
Hi Kathy …
This may be old news to you, and it shouldn’t be surprising to anybody following the downward spiral of formerly dominant newspapers … but it was news to me.
Friday, Sept. 24th began like any other day for workers and management at the Toronto Star production plant on the west side of Hwy 400 …but it ended in an ugly fashion.
I have a relative who was a senior manager there, worked his way up straight out of school for XX+ years … he was managing [a large] staff. A day or two prior to Sept 24 he was called in by his boss + some consultants and told to fire / lay off / downsize / right size (whatever is the euphemism of the day) XX+ members of his staff … naturally he was shocked, but pulled himself together and began the dirty deed of telling folks he’d worked with and managed for years that they were no longer needed. Those downsized workers were walked out of the building right then and there by a consultant + somebody from HR and/or security.
Then, on Friday Sept. 24th HE was called in (after doing his terminations) and HE TOO was laid off by “them” (the hit team) …and he was walked out of the building without being allowed to get his personal stuff (family photos, company plaques & awards, etc.) “We’ll be sending it to you by courier.”
His long-time admin assistant / secretary who had been there XX years was in tears, wailing uncontrollably at the week’s ‘bloodletting’ … and then the hit team finally laid her off, last … because they had her pack up his personal stuff for the courier BEFORE they told her she was gone! … you can’t make up this stuff!
Now, please let me make clear that he needs NO tag days or bottle collections … he’s had XX+ GREAT years, was let go X years prior to when he would retire anyway, and he was paid 2-years full salary to go away early
My observation is that (back when I used to read it, a decade or more ago) The Star would have had tearful front page pity parties when ANY major employer in their coverage area (think the layoffs at Avro in the 1960s, GM/Ford/Chrysler layoffs; Stelco layoffs; etc. etc.) would “heartlessly”, “brutally”, “greedily” downsize their workforce … but when The Star does it themselves, they do it every bit as coldly as EVERY OTHER major employer … because THAT’S how it’s done. There was absolutely nothing remarkable or special about the way this downsizing happened … but it would have been covered in The Star as if it was the Rape of Nanking if any other local employer had done it.
When The Star does something it’s “standard operating procedure” for all companies … but when other companies do it, it’s evil, wicked, capitalist greed.
I hate to admit this but I am happy to see The Star being eaten up piece by piece, as if by leprosi … it looks great on them.
Sorry to bore you if this is old news. Keep up the wonderful IV tube of battery acid you inject us with each day … that + coffee + Fox News keeps us going!