Thursday, May 29, 2008

5/28 bargaining update *

For all the progress made in the first year of talks, the final two issues - wages and outsourcing - remain a point of debate between the Guild and MediaNews.

The latest proposal offered by MediaNews provides an immediate one-percent raise upon approval of the contract, bumped up to two-percent after six months in the second and third year.

However this offer comes at a price. Accepting those terms also means accepting MediaNews' demands on outsourcing - specifically, the right to eliminate any position they see fit - which would absolutely destroy all job security for MediaNews' Long Beach employees. This demand comes with a one-year timeline, after which the Guild may revisit the issue. But some have pointed out that after a year of zero protection, there may be nothing and no one left to fight for. Agreeing to that provison is akin to signing your own pink slip.

It's important to note that MediaNews has already suggested that further layoffs are on the horizon. In light of our members' tenuous job security, the Guild will not agree to anything that further jeopardizes the futures of our members at the P-T.

The next session has been set for Tuesday, June 10.

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