The Democrat & Chronicle has laid off some news staff. The union that represents some of the employees there, Newspaper Guild Local 17, released a statement saying that the D&C laid off three newsroom employees on Tuesday, part of a series of cuts at Gannett news properties around the country.
The Guild says it feels obligated to speak out since its newsroom has been decimated by layoffs and buyouts in the last six years, with the number of Guild-represented employees cut by more than half.
The union says in 2011 there were 86 Guild-represented employees in the newsroom and now, there are about 32.
The union acknowledges that some of those positions were lost to advances in technology and changes in the way newspapers deliver their product.
But they say the end result has been fewer people gathering news. The statement says the union believes the local D&C management team is passionate about the work done by the paper, but the Guild doesn’t believe Gannett leaders have a similar commitment to Rochester.
There was no immediate comment from the D&C or its parent company Gannett on Tuesday. But, earlier this month Gannett, which also owns USA TODAY and 109 local news properties, said it would undergo a corporate restructuring that would result in the eliminate of “less than 1% of employees.”
The company’s president and CEO Robert Dickey, cited"difficult headwinds" related to print advertising.