Layoffs continuing at Star-Bulletin and Midweek

Layoffs continuing at Star-Bulletin and Midweek
Dennis Francis
Dennis Francis

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new chapter in Hawaii's journalism community leaves hundreds of people out of work.

A bitter ending, as Oahu's two daily newspapers get ready to print their final editions before the merge.

453 people are losing their jobs. It's believed to be the largest mass layoff in the history of Hawaii journalism.

Advertiser workers found out last week who was getting cut. On Friday, Star-Bulletin and Midweek staffers began getting their pink slips.

In a move to consolidate its printing operations to the Kapolei plant, 95 people in the production department at the Star-Bulletin's Kaneohe location will be laid off.

Star-Bulletin president and publisher Dennis Francis says beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend, they'll be letting people know they're out of a job.

"It's a little subdued, to be honest, it's a difficult situation when at least those of us in top management are aware of the enormity of the jobs that will be lost," he said.

At the Star-Bulletin and Midweek building in Kaneohe, production workers anxiously awaited their turn to see if a job was still waiting for them after this weekend.

"We weren't told of anything, we were just kept out of the dark and we just got pieces here and there and other advertiser works are telling us, they're taking our jobs so, we're hoping it weren't true, but turns out to be true," An worker who wanted to remain anonymous said.

After 13 years as a delivery truck driver for Midweek, the Kaneohe man just found out the company put the brakes on his future with them.

"I have kids, I've got mortgage to pay, emotionally I'm all out of shape right now," he said.

Before the merger, Oahu Publications, which publishes both the Star-Bulletin and Midweek had a total of 300 workers.

But after this weekend, a third of those people will be let go.

"I'm going to have to look for another job, that's the only way we can survive," a now former worker said.

The Star-Advertiser will employ 474 workers, which includes an editorial staff of 117.

The Kaneohe plant will stay open, with 15 Midweek staffers and 17 circulation workers, but eventually it will be put up for sale and the remaining staff will be re-located to Waterfront Tower.

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