Twenty-five production employees of a Christian book and music publishing company paid for the sins of at least one staffer with their jobs after an anonymous email said the Oklahoma business would layoff workers as it expands overseas.
Tate Publishing President Ryan Tate acknowledged to The Journal Record newspaper in Oklahoma City that he fired nearly 13 percent of his local work force after “the cowards” who sent the email would not come forward to claim responsibility for sending it.
“I want a perfect mix of mercy, grace and justice,” Tate said in a meeting with the workers around Memorial Day, one of whom taped the session. “Now it’s time for a little bit of justice.”
Tate said whoever sent the email violated the company’s confidentiality agreement by sharing the company’s plans with the media. He told the newspaper the company is opening an office in the Philippines, and eventually in China and Australia.
The email said the company, which has 200 employees in Mustang, planned layoffs as part of the overseas expansion, but Tate denied any U.S. workers would lose their job – except the 25 now fired over the email.
On the tape, according to an excerpt by ABC News, Tate told the soon-to-be fired workers that the decision to let them go “tears me up.” He said he’ll pray for them, but that won’t save their jobs.
Proverbs says that the wicked will set a trap, but the righteous will prevail and the wicked will fall into their own trap. … A lot of good people are going to get hurt… To those of you paying an unfair price, I’m really sorry ….. I’ll pray for you and pray for your families. I can’t turn away on this one. Not at this time when we have so much to accomplish. I love you, I’m praying for all of you.”
The publisher also threatened to sue employees and file liens against their homes and automobiles if they went to the media or posted negative comments on Facebook.
OkcBiz magazine named Tate Publishing, a family-owned company, as one of the best places to work in Oklahoma in 2008 and 2009. This link includes audio of Tate’s meeting with employees.