Welcome to the Humboldt Redwood Company. And oh, by the way, you’re all fired.

Business etiquette question of the day:

What is the preferred communication medium for terminating the jobs of a few hundred people–many of whom have worked for a predecessor company for decades?

Is it private conversations? Small- or large-group meetings? Personal letters?

Evidently not.

But if you guessed company-wide e-mail memo, you’d be correct.

Management of the Mendocino Redwood Company, one of two companies that prevailed this week in a takeover bid of the bankrupt Pacific Lumber Company, reportedly sent a two-paragraph e-mail to all employees Wednesday afternoon informing them that their employment had terminated simultaneous with the close of the reorganization deal.

While termination came as no surprise, insiders say that communication between MRC management and HRC employees has been shoddy at best, and that at the big moment Wednesday not a single MRC exec could be found to answer questions or ease employees through an excruciating time.

Job offers to many of the recently unemployed are expected to be extended through the weekend, but there are already numerous reports of demotions, wage decreases and general insensitivity.

Here’s the good news, and it is still very good: Hurwitz is gone, and there is little reason to doubt that MRC will be an improvement. And to be fair, a few bumps in the road should be expected in a transition of this magnitude.

But as a little welcoming gift to MRC, we humbly offer the following:

You’ve talked an awful lot about how you plan to treat the trees, wildlife and watersheds of Humboldt County. We’re watching very closely now to see how you treat our people.


74 Responses

  1. two years tops, the mill will be closed completely, logs will be shipped to mendo and we all will have been ass-fucked by the fisher family.

    Next time, at least kiss us first.

  2. One wonders if they have any clue what they’re up against in Humboldt County. People see it from afar and think it couldn’t possibly be this bad, til they get here.

    I’ve wondered for a long time what would happen when Hurwitz finally left. Would the poison evaporate? Or find a new venue.

  3. You are so right. Hurwitz was a saint and the rotten environmentalists just picked on him for no reason. Now they will go after other saintly timber companies who only exist to provide jobs.

  4. Panic victim 6:21, who the fuck said anything about Hurwitz being a saint? Hurwitz is a major bone, and as the post rightly notes, the end of his tenure is a good thing for Humboldt County. But it’s starting to look like the new guys are willing to balance the books on the backs of employees. Do you think that’s some kind of improvement? Because I for one don’t.

  5. I should say who the fuck OTHER THAN YOU said anything about Hurwitz being a saint. Moron.

  6. the employees that were left were able to interview for their positions last week. that goes for the workers in the headquarters and forestry dept. i havent heard anything about the mill workers that were left other than they have not been working this week. management told them to wait for word. lets not jump to conclusions, and hope for the best…..

  7. Hurwitz. Bah.

  8. Your concern for the workers is touching. Where was your concern every time PALCO held their jobs hostage to get a logging plan through? Who warned that they weren’t cutting at a sustainable rate? Who got blamed for the job loses at PALCO when they started running out of timber? It wasn’t Hurwitz.

  9. Who vilified environmentalists for trying to slow the rate of cut and environmental damage? Who denied it was occuring? How many of you have said, “You were right about what PALCO was doing and the damage it would cause.” How many can even admit it today?

  10. Your concern about being declared “right” is touching, and illustrative. And you’re complaining about someone who cares about people?Weird.

  11. That was always the case, 7:34. The right cared about money, the moderates cared about people, and the progs cared about being right.

  12. The best part is that the “progressives” were wrong and largely ineffectual. What ultimately stopped Hurwitz was Hurwitz’s own greed.

  13. Let’s hope for the best and give them a chance!

  14. I live in town and am hearing LOTS of stories about people who have been offered jobs at half their pay. The mill manager walked off because he was insulted by the offer he got. Once in a while you hear about someone who got their same job back, but almost all of the news has been bad. If anyone here thinks this is something to celebrate, you should spend a day down here.

  15. I agree with you Dusty. I want them to be better than PL. We all do. And we are hopeful in a sense. But a lot of that hope is wearing thin already. Everyone told us the transition would be rough, but I don’t think we were prepared for this.

  16. Sorry to hear the transition is not going smoothly, Scotia resident. I sincerely hope for the best!

  17. Thanks. We’ll get through it. We always do.

  18. I heard of one person who got a promotion and a raise, which is great. She deserved both. But for the most part it’s been the exact opposite. Some of the workers may have been paid above market, but explain that to someone living check to check and trying to support a family.

  19. Yeah good luck, Scotia resident. The news from there seems to depend on who you ask. Those who got jobs without big pay cuts think MRC is brilliant. Those who didn’t get jobs, or got demoted or wage-gouged, think MRC is the devil. The truth is probably somewhere in between. But it is worth pointing out that the workers are at least as important to us as MRC’s environmental practices.

  20. Hurwitz’ chosen method to announce lay-offs in newspaper articles was far more compassionate.
    754, Hurwitz’ greed was what drove the overcutting and environmental damage that the environmentalists were screaming about. DUH!

  21. To the workers and residents of Scotia, our thoughts and hopes are with you. To MRC, everyone is watching what you do here. You made a lot of promises to this community, and we expect you to live up to them.

  22. It seems that the transition team was a bit understaffed. In some areas job offers, or layoffs were made immediately, offers were often at the same pay with better benefits. I know it doesn’t help those who haven’t gotten a call yet, but maybe they are working through a list and the calls will come soon. I’ve been impressed so far with MRC’s openness and would expect that they will take whatever steps are necessary to keep the employees informed. NOTE TO MRC if you are lurking on the blogs-Scotia is a very tight town and rumors will spread faster than you can finish a thought. Meet with the employees early and often and you will get honest input and respect.

  23. Hurwitz’ greed and looting of Pacific Lumber is why there isn’t enough timber to support the jobs at MRC. Just continue to blame environmentalists and progressives for everything that goes wrong. It’s working well for all the former employees of PALCO. I know, I know, if only Hurwitz had been allowed to cut when, where and how much he wanted all would have been roses and everyone would keep their jobs forever. Isn’t that the way the fairytale goes?

  24. I love it when people dispute things that haven’t been said. It must make them feel relevant.

  25. Maybe, but it makes them look stupid.

  26. We should keep in mind that the progs and enviros opposed MRC’s plan and backed a rival plan that would have put the company up for auction. Some “community forest” bullshit that Lovelace was supposed to run. So when they’re all mouthing off now about how they were right all along, you gotta wonder what it was they were right about. Right about Gallegos’ lawsuit? Right about opposing the Habitat Conservation Plan that actually did limit logging? Right about the EPIC suit that has no operational impact? Right about the whistle-blower suits that were settled for a dollar each? Right about the flood claims that were similarly disposed of? Right in their grandstanding before a water board that openly mocked their pseudo-science and petulance? They were right about only one thing: you can’t sustainably harvest more than 200 million feet of lumber from that forest. They were definitely right about that. But no one–including Hurwitz–disagreed.

  27. Well see? They were right. And 7:38 said it best. Being right about something, anything, was all they cared about all along. To hell with the workers. The far left has someone they can continue to blame for the world’s ills, and that’s all that matters to them. It’s sad, because I agree with them on many points, but they have no humanity. If it costs a hundred good jobs for them to feel vindicated, they don’t care.

  28. That whole post is a lie. The creditors wanted an auction. Progressives never opposed MRC’s plan, they just offered an alternative plan as a backup if that failed and the forest lands went to auction. Repeating the same lame and tired lies won’t work any more. You blamed environmentalists for the loss of jobs and now you are blaming them for MRC, even though you claim they opposed MRC. Not everyone is as stupid as you anti-environmentalists and more are waking up to the idiocy of your agenda every day.

  29. Good news, 9:37, and good advice. Let’s hope they get their shit together before they alienate half the county.

  30. I should add that most people (I’m not sure whether the progs should be included in that category) want to see MRC succeed. But the Humbug is right. Humboldt County doesn’t just care about trees and birds. Most of us care about human beings even more.

  31. Hey MRC–we know you can’t keep everyone employed. We just want you to treat all of the affected employees with the respect and compassion they deserve.

  32. its ironic how people accuse the “far left” of being the problem when the company was looted by a junk bond king….

    the town STARTED as a “far left” town. it was a company town that bordered on socialism. when a town provides its housing, power, heat, jobs, food, shopping, leiure, it is FAR LEFT!!!!! When eureka was booming, it had one of the only SOCIALIST mayors in the nation. numerous company towns were in existence. the town of falk was another. one of falk’s relatives was socialist mayor of eureka…..the “far left” built the town, hurwitz RAIDED it…..get a clue!!!!

  33. saying that leftits don’t care about workers is one of the dumbest comments ive heard on this site. the unions are supported by the right wing, eh?

  34. So you supported a plan opposed to MRC’s plan but didn’t opposed MRC’s plan? I think all those wheat grass smoothies might be damaging your brain.

    And I don’t know who you think you’re arguing with, because no one is blaming the enviros for MRC.

    That long list of environmentalist blunders is completely true but woefully incomplete.

    Go back to your bong and your ’60s protest music. No one here is fooled by your lies.

  35. They are just spinning this out to bash the left regardless of what utter BS it is. These are the same people who rooted for Hurwitz while he was clear cutting hillsides, causing mud slides into worker’s homes, cutting unsustainably and without any regard for the damage he was doing to the environment or the community’s future. Expecting them to be honest today about what caused this fiasco is unrealistic.

  36. Not the leftists, the progs. Two very different things. The progs would shut down the forestry business forever if they had their way.

  37. There WAS no progressive plan in opposition to MRC you fool! The progressive plan was to buy the forest lands at auction IF that was the outcome. Having a fall back plan is just good sense, but you PALCO cheerleaders don’t think about consequences, just how much money you can make today.

  38. Now my posts are being moderated (censored) before they are allowed. “C” (or is it “E” today?) can’t take challenges to the BS posted here.

  39. I think it’s an open question whether union support is about workers or about power. Certainly unions have benefited workers in the past, but now it seems all they do is hold conventions and attempt to consolidate their position. Palco has always been non-union. In all the time the progs were running around screaming about the trees and the fish, I never once saw them try to organize the labor force.

  40. Douchebag 11:21, I challenge you to find one post on this blog that defends Hurwitz’s forestry practices. Just one. I’ve been reading it from the start, and I’ve never seen any such thing. You’re probably pissed that your auction plan didn’t get approved, but that’s no reason to lie.

  41. It’s a good thing Lovelace’s auction plan didn’t get approved. He already has his hands full trying to skew the Second District election.

  42. My best wishes to the former employees and to all the residents of Scotia. I sincerely hope you come through this stronger than before.

  43. 11:21 is a typical prog. Always snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  44. You’re right, 11:25. Lovelace et al would happily sacrifice every forestry job in the county if it saved one bird or one endangered weed.

  45. You think union leaders are bad, what about those Shriners? Always getting liquored up and racing around on those go-carts while wearing those creepy fez hats.

  46. Looks like there’s a challenge on the table our ranter can’t rise to. Find the support on this blog for Charles Hurwitz, or move on. The post does say the departure of Hurwitz is “very good” news, doesn’t it? Get a clue, buddy. Hatred makes you stupid.

  47. I was offered a demotion and a pay cut of almost $20,000 a year. If I take it, I’ll probably have to sell my house to get by. If I don’t take it, I’ll probably have to sell my house and move. Looks like I better call a realtor.

    Not everyone has been this unlucky, if that’s what it is. I’ve heard of others in the same situation, but I’ve also heard of some who got their same jobs back at about the same rate. I wish everyone the best.

  48. Same to you my friend. This is a tough time for all of us, but I remain hopeful that MRC will get their ducks in a row and do better moving forward.

  49. We just need to hang in there to get through this transition and hopefully on to better times ahead.

  50. Deleting my posts to make people think there is no refutation to the lies here is a shameful and dishonest tactic, but just what one would expect from deceitful and unethical people like yourselves.

  51. Try Heraldo…

    You’ll fit right in over there

  52. I am only writing this comment to look at my avatar. I like everyone’s different avatars on this post – such great personalities! Blog hugs to the people of Scotia –

  53. Nice avatar, Dusty. But who’s that whiny little bitch who’s on the wrong blog?

  54. Yeah maybe if he had even rudimentary reading comprehension skills, his knickers wouldn’t be in such a twist. Yeah we all love Charles Hurwitz, totally approve of raping and pillaging the forest, hate the environment, will do anything to make a buck, and lie, cheat and steal every chance we get. Plus we drive Hummers and feed lead paint to infants. You pretty much found us out. Because everyone who doesn’t agree with you 100% is fucking evil. What a douche.

  55. Actually, I think he said we were shameful, dishonest, deceitful and unethical. Unless he was the same guy who also called us lame, tired, stupid and idiotic? Well. No matter. Maybe “fucking evil” is kind of a useful shorthand. More concise and all.

  56. Give the little hippie bitch a break. After 10:51 straight ripped him a new vagina, he got all emotional. Excessive pot smoking uninterrupted by going to work once in a while really messes with your hormones.

  57. I like to feed lead paint to infants WHILE driving my Hummer across Snowy Plover habitat. That’s just how I roll.

  58. While blowing an exhaust contrail that spells out I LOVE CHARLES HURWITZ? Please say it’s so.

  59. Look out people. You’re making the little douche mad now. He’s going to start lobbing organic vegetables at you if you’re not careful.

  60. It kind of makes you understand why that whole make-love-not-war thing never got off the ground. Can you imagine if the Progs were in charge of international diplomacy? Every fucking person in the world would want to kill us. Their belligerence is astounding.

  61. Oh my fucking GOD this shit is hilarious. Too bad the far-lefties don’t get the joke.

  62. You guys can make all the denials you want, the blogosphere is full of people like Chris, Rose, Fred, Stephen, HumRed, AnonRmouse posts blaming environmentalists for PALCO’s demise. You aren’t fooling anyone but yourselves.

  63. That guy sure does have a lot of comments up for someone whose comments are being blocked and deleted.

  64. Yes, but at least the little fucker was right. Because that is after all what it’s all about.

  65. MRC’s partner company Marathon has demonstrated a better approach. They’re hiring fewer people, but all of them at status quo pay. And they made all the offers before the plan went effective, so there has been none of that panic generated by MRC. If Marathon could do it right, why couldn’t MRC?

  66. My opinion is it was BOTH the extreme left and the greedy business practices that caused the problem.
    Extreme environmentalists often claimed they wanted to run logging businesses out of Humboldt county.
    Hurwitz was a first class shark who stole from long time PL employees and then made sure he transferred the land that became the Headwaters into his personal name so none of the employees got a share.
    As usual, the rabid environmentalists and the money grubbing right wing businesses squeeze the guy in the middle.
    A little balance would have been appreciated, but neither side gave a damn about the mill worker. Now, Hurwitz will leave laughing all the way to the bank.
    Any of you laughing on your way to the bank? I’m not.

  67. I’m one of the guys waithing by the phone for the “golden phone-call”. It’s now Monday nite and still no call. I thought going through the turmoil of the Hurwitz years was bad. This is absolutely gut-wrenching. My life and the life of my entire family has been put on hold as we wait for the call that will tell us if we have a job or not. They say it’s always darkest before the dawn. Right now it’s pitch black….

  68. Good luck to you, Scotia Boy. Let us know how things turn out for you. And Jen, we think you’ve nailed it. Sad situation, but you’ve summed it up nicely.

  69. What is ‘progressive’ or ‘prog’ about taking positions similar to STALIN?

    Other than being in some sort of romantic haze about ‘helping’ the environment and ‘helping’ others (perpetuating dependency)and ‘helping’ us all move into Gulags (‘infill development’)- they are only out to help themselves to our dollars — you know; the stuff the REST of us work our asses off for…

    “Progressive” = historic illiteracy ?
    Only their followers – the sheep

    “Progressive” = Tyrannical Bully.

    Only Humboldt County is this lucky; we have afew vying for the top of the pile – Salzman,Berg, Stewart, Girard, Neely, Woolley (a.k.a. “I don’t care what the law says, make it so that I can do what I want!”), Miller and Marky-Mark (apparently he’s very good at tantrums).

    And Jen: Thank you.

  70. oops; not afew – a few

  71. It is not easy being a centrist in Humboldt County.

  72. Tell me about it, Carol. 🙂

  73. I finally got my phone call on Wednesday at around 4:00pm. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the one I wanted to hear. I am now currently out of work. I would like to see more bloggers adress this issue of the fate of Pl workers….

  74. Scotia Boy, have things changed for better or worse in the past several years. The few I know think it’s about the same, but a little better since the CEO was sent walking.

What say you?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s