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Cleveland Plain-Dealer Slashing Third of Unionized Staff, Union Says

Some employees will be offered new jobs at Cleveland.com, petition says

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer plans to slash about one-third of its unionized newsroom staff next year, according to a union petition to salvage the journalists' jobs.

A Facebook page titled "Save the Plain-Dealer," created by members of Newspaper Guild Local 1, has drawn nearly 4,500 likes. The campaign echoes the failed push to save the New Orleans Times-Picayune from sweeping layoffs and printing cutbacks earlier this year.

The Plain-Dealer and the Times-Picayune are both owned by Advance Publications.

Advance did not respond to emails from TheWrap for comment.

"Guild members are the heart of the paper," a message on the Facebook page said. "They report, photograph, copyedit, design, draw, create graphics, archive information, edit and so much more."

It said the reductions would be "devastating."

Also read: Advance Publications Lays Off Over 200 Employees at The Times-Picayune

Though the Plain-Dealer said it would reduce the number of Newspaper Guild members to 110 next year, some of the pink-slipped employees will be offered jobs at Cleveland.com, the newspaper's web portal, according to the union.

"They will not say how many or what those jobs would be," the message said. "The Plain-Dealer is pressing for the ability to handpick who stays and who goes."

The petition also said that the company plans to cut "at least 20 more positions" in upcoming years.

The news comes a day after the New York Times offered buyouts to at least 30 employees, urging Guild members — with whom the paper just negotiated a new contract — to apply for the severance packages.