Transitions: Stephen Hlibok
Transitions: Stephen Hlibok
In this video Stephen Hlibok reflects on the financial advice offered to Deaf printers regarding the buyout packages.
Drs. John S. and Betty J. Schuchman Deaf Documentary Center Collection
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American Sign Language
Moving Image Item Type Metadata
Stephen Hlibok, an older white man seated in the Schuchman Deaf Documentary Center.
Stephen Hlibok: So, when I - In the 1990s, that period, the printing industry - between 1990 and 2000- that period, the newspaper, newspaper industry changed so much because of computers taking over it transformed so much. Many newspaper companies were figuring out what to do with their union members. They had lifetime employment commitments, and they were expensive as well. So, they were working that out. I worked with several The New York Times, Daily News, and all of them were going through the same transition and discussions. So I had an opportunity to hear their - it was called a buyout packages which they were offering. Buyout offers were going out, and then people reached out to me. They contacted me because I’m a financial advisor. So I was able to provide an outside financial perspective, for them to consider in making their decision. That’s how that works. So that was happening. Then, in 1999, I believe it was November, The Washington Post came to a decision and announced a package, another buyout offer was made. That one, seemed too good to reject. There was a lot of discussion amongst the printers about what to do - and they reached out to me to get my opinion on it. So we agreed that I would attend their presentation. Mike Bahar, if I spelled that right, he was director of The Washington Post human resources. So he gathered all the printers, and they asked me to attend as well. And I sat at the back of the room. At the front, they explained what the package looked like. First, - oh, and there were two interpreters at the front too, while he was presenting, he went through the details of the package and elaborated on each point. The buyout package included, first, $100,000 to sign to end employment at the Post. Second, an additional $1,000 a month, until age 62. Third, lifetime heath insurance. A few more things they covered, the pension plans they had, Washington Post stocks, that was included. So things like that. When he was done, they turned to me in the back of the room and asked what I thought. And I said, compared to what I’ve seen elsewhere, this is the best I’ve ever seen. The best deal. Too good to turn down. Wow. It’s a good deal. They all looked at me and then turned back to the front. Before I knew it, it proceeded quickly, many left. They all signed to take the package and leave. So rapidly in fact that human resources was shocked. Almost everyone was leaving, except one person. Of the Deaf printers, I mean, the Deaf printers. The hearing printers some of them took it. But the Deaf printers, they all took it. So HR was caught off guard- they ended up asking a few people to delay, to wait until March or April because they weren’t anticipating it. They were shocked. So that’s the story behind their departure. At the time, a person who left could also get Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) as well. So, in other words, they received the $100,000, heath insurance, $1,000 a month, and SSDI. Taken together that was a comfortable income. Plus they had their own pension or 401k plans that was included as well. I mean, that was a comfortable income.
Zilvinas Paludnevicius, “Transitions: Stephen Hlibok,” DeafPrinters, accessed June 7, 2023, https://deafprinters.com/items/show/148.