Reader's Digest Association to cut work force

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Reader's Digest Association (RDA) plans to trim about 280 positions, or about 8% of its 3,500 member work force, and also will implement unpaid time off for remaining employees.

The Pleasantville, NY, company also is suspending its matching contributions to the US 401(k) retirement plan.

The company said it was making these moves to strengthen the company's financial performance in the face of the global economic downtown.

"We have announced a comprehensive 'Recession Plan,' which is our internal roadmap for dealing with the extraordinary effects of this recession on consumer spending,” said Mary Berner, RDA president and CEO, in a statement.

Berner said the company hopes most of the moves will be temporary.

The unpaid leave would occur over 2009 and 2010, with the intention of avoiding additional layoffs, the company said.

The company, with offices in 45 countries, publishes 92 magazines, including 50 editions of Reader's Digest, and operates 65 branded Web sites.

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