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The new owners of the San Diego Union-Tribune have asked employees to help the paper go from “good” to “great” by dressing up a bit and working longer hours for the same pay. “Employees will transition to a 40 hour work week effective January 2, 2012,” from the old 37.5-hour work week. “Standard office hours will be, 8:30 – 5:30, with an hour for lunch,” says a memo to staff. About the dress code:

We would like employees who work with the public to dress in sharp business attire. …Employees who do not work directly with the public, should keep in mind that we always have visitors, government officials/dignitaries in and out of our building, and the desire is to have a professional workplace appearance. “Casual Friday” will continue, but should be only slightly less business oriented than Monday through Thursday.

* U-T staff to work longer hours, dress snazzier under new management

UPDATE: There are dozens of comments about this on my Facebook wall. Here are some of them:

Katy Moeller
I had lots of knee-jerk reactions to this … I recognize myself that some days I could dress better, but my focus tends to be on the stories I’m doing. I think a friendly reminder about looking professional, rather than a condescending announcement about wearing business attire, would go over better with staff. Forty hours a week would sound like a vacation to many journalists I know.

Judy Israel
I started working at CBS News in 1977. One day when I was still an admin. asst. on the Foreign Desk, an executive needed someone to deliver something to Bill Paley at Black Rock, the CBS corporate headquarters. Because I wasn’t wearing a dress or a skirt I actually couldn’t go. Women could wear pants at the Broadcast Center but not at corporate back then. Hard to believe now.

Pat Alder
The Hotel guy thinks that by slapping a new coat of paint and changing the furniture people wil come?? Quality brings them, not new furnishings.

Pam Robinson
‎”Standard office hours” in a newsroom? Good luck with that. And I wonder if they’re getting paid enough to afford “We would like employees who work with the public to dress in sharp business attire.”

Peg McNichol
I thought Leona Helmsley was dead.

Peg McNichol
Although … an hour for lunch? Woo hoo! Surely the deadly house fires, barricaded gunmen and near-drowning victims rescued with heart-stopping precision will happily wait to get their photos taken for me to finish a peaceful lunch … Kwame Kilpatrick, to be sure, wishes reporters had daily taken a lunch hour. [CONTINUES]

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