Getting torched at the Sun
Please allow me to share a few of the lovelies sent my way after posting a photo of Quad/Graphics and a cutline (aka caption) meant to say the company’s new owner said Quad employees working there when the sale was final would not lose their jobs. The names of the commenters are withheld and their words are copied and pasted, with only quote marks added by your friendly neighborhood reporter/columnist/rabble-rouser. “WOODFORD SUN FOR THE LOCAL RESIDENTS WHO READ YOUR PAPER YOU SHOULD NOW PUBLISH AN ARTICLE AND REPORT HOW MANY WERE TERMINATED JUST BEFORE THE SALE AND REPORT THE NUMBER OF YEARS FOR EACH ... BIAS MUCH?” “What a joke this caption is, there were a TON of people who lost their jobs!!” “They have been firing people because of this since January don’t lie woodford sun. I’ll send you emails where they fired people and then said that was it...and then fire more.” “Woodford Sun, you might want to re do this article because people that have worked, been working there knows the real truth. What the new company might have told you, is a lie!!” “LIES! My husband was laid off in March, called back for one week in May & then terminated on June 30th. 45 years of service. My mother was terminated after 57 years of service. Age discrimination? On another Facebook page, a woman wrote that if I didn’t correct my lies, I was no better than the people at Quad/Graphics or their new owner. Yikes. I countered a few such remarks by reiterating and paraphrasing the cutline, but that didn’t seem to soothe the feelings of folks who seemed to dislike me as much as the Quad brass who laid them off. Then I took a third and fourth look at the cutline in last week’s Sun and on our Facebook page – and realized how it could be misconstrued: “Quad/Graphics has been sold to CJK Group of Minnesota, and the general counsel for the new owner said CJK Group will assume existing customer contracts – and that none of the former-Quad workers will lose their jobs as a result of the sale.” Pretty sloppy, folks. I don’t know why I used the phrase “former-Quad workers,” which some took as a reference to the hundreds of people let go by the company since 2018. That wasn’t my intention, nor was it the intention of CJK Group’s general counsel. I revised the posted cutline to avoid further confusion and posted several requests, asking folks who’d lost their Quad jobs to call or email. God bless Shirley Ivey for not only talking to me but also rounding up another longtime worker, Lewis Neat (and God bless him for talking to me, and his son for taking the photo you see on the front page). None of the unnamed folks whose comments are in this column responded to the interview offer, which is, of course, their right. Of course, I couldn’t help but remind our Facebook friends that the full story was in the July 9 edition of the Sun and did have a bit of information about job losses earlier this year. Still, as referees used to say when there were football games, “Upon further review …” Upon further review, my original cutline was a bit shoddy. Sorry about that, y’all. I hope this week’s follow-up is better – and that the folks who lost their Quad jobs are OK. Even the ones who torched me.