Friday, December 7, 2007

Little movement in contract talks

In our mediation session Dec. 3, VP and company negotiator Jim Janiga made no movement away from the company's egregious proposals of zero-substandard wage increases, a wage freeze anytime during the term of the new contract and its demand for the right to outsource any and all jobs — all regressive proposals designed to screw rank and file workers at a time when MediaNews continues to buy up more papers.

But although there was no movement on the outsourcing proposal, the company did not reject out of hand the Guild's counterproposal which includes language requiring the company to first offer the work to union staffers.

In addition, a proposal put forth by the union that would provide photographers an equal share of the profits of pictures used on the newspaper's website and later sold to the public is under consideration. The company has offered 25%.

Your bargaining team — Don Jergler, Kris Hanson and Joe Segura, led by Local 9400 president Micheal Hartigan — along with the federal mediator are trying to pin down future bargaining dates. Stay tuned.

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