I know plenty of former newspaper employees who once thought they had job security. They figured they’d never be laid off because their companies raked in so much money that they could weather cyclical economic downturns.
At the Press-Register in Mobile, Ala., and 19 other daily newspapers owned by Advance Publications, many workers based that feeling on something firmer than water cooler talk. Their employment stability was promised in writing, right on the first page of the employee handbook.
The so-called “Newhouse pledge,” named after the family that founded and controls the New York-based media company, guaranteed that in most cases, employees would never be laid off. The pledge, which according to a recently filed lawsuit has been in place for at least 25 years, applied to all full-time, non-union employees. Newhouse has a reputation of being an anti-union company, and some believe the pledge was intended partly to discourage employees from organizing. Read more