1986 Story on UPI Closing Brentwood, Tenn. Office

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         pm-upi  2-7
 upi to close brentwood office
  by gregory gordon

washington (upi) -- united press international will close its corporate headquarters in brentwood, tenn., and consolidate the functions in washington -- a move that will force 45 employee layoffs, the company announced.

jack kenney, senior vice president and treasurer, said upi would shift its accounting, personnel, purchasing and financial and support services to the washington area. some departments will relocate in upi's world headquarters in washington and others in sururban virginia, he said thursday.

kenney said some brentwood employees will move to washington and about 45 others will be offered severance pay and extensive assistance to help them find new jobs.

"the (brentwood) staff has done a good job and we want everyone to know that, the people ... are valued employees. due to the unusual circumstances of closing a corporate office and moving it to another state, upi is adopting a policy to cushion those employees against hardships over which they have no control," kenney said.

"we planto work with each individual to assist them in every way possible. we have hired an outplacement firm and employment counselors to help staffers secure new jobs, with the goal of a smooth transition and no gap in employment," he said.

several business office department heads and key personnel have moved to washington durig the past year. upi is reorganizing in preparation for a pending sale to new upi inc., which intends to maintain corporate headquarters in washington.

the functions in tennesse were moved in 1984 from new york and other locations by media news corp., which acquired upi from the e.w. scripps co. in 1982.

william adler, a upi spokesman, said the sole reason for the corporate offices to be situated in suburban nashville was that owners douglas ruhe and william geissler lived there.

he said the move should save money by cutting travel costs and also make the job of running the company's finances more efficient.

some brentwood staffers are employed by upi and others by upi-focus group inc., a related company set up to provide support services. upi and upi-focus group employees not covered by the union will receive severance pay as per upi's policy, which includes a four-week minimum, the company said.

upi employees represented by the wire service guild will receive severance pay as spelled out by the union contract. union-covered focus group employees, who do not currently have a contract, will receive severance determined by discussions between upi and the guild.

kenney, an officer of upi-focus group as well as upi, said upi-focus group has contacted the unionto schedule such discussions.

the move will not affect upi's tennessee news headquarters, which will continue to operate from the wire service's downtown nashville bureau

upi 02-07-86 06:47 acs