Friday, August 15, 2008

Facing the future together

The Guild's bargaining unit at the Minneapolis Star Tribune announced that they've reached an agreement with company management.

The deal, which includes a 16-month wage freeze, was approved after negotiations that included an honest appraisal of the company's finances, according to writer David Brauer.

Thanks to a confidential look at the paper's books earlier this year, the union doesn't deny the Strib's precarious financial position — though the Guild leaders ruefully note "if business education sessions taught us one thing, [newspaper] sales bring on crushing debt. And crushing debt is why we find ourselves in this position."

The contract isn't enviable. A wage freeze is never accepted without a lot of consideration by the membership. So it's amazing to see just what can be accomplished when each side approaches negotiations honestly and with respect for the "other team." Clearly the Star Tribune employees weren't happy to wait almost two years before seeing a raise, but when the company had the integrity to demonstrate the financial need for serious cost-cutting, the employees overwhelmingly voted to support the employer and share in the necessary sacrifice that will enable them to weather the current economic storm together. A wage freeze is only part of the cost-cutting initiative, which also puts several open Guild and management positions on a hiring freeze, and adjustments to overtime and differential compensation.

More info at the Star Tribune blog here.


Anonymous said...

where the heck is minnesota???? is it near torrance. we need the guild here, not in snow country.

Anonymous said...

We have already had out 16 months wage freeze !!!!!!. No way we go for another. That is as bad contract.

Anonymous said...

bad contract = bad union