Monday, December 22, 2008

An offer they couldn't refuse?

We found a link last weekend on Gary Scott's blog to this story from the Rocky Mountain News:

The Denver Newspaper Agency has issued an ultimatum to its six unions: Agree to $20 million in wage and benefit concessions by Jan. 16 or face even worse consequences.

The unions have asked to see the company's books, but so far no details have been released.

It's finally come to this. Driven to satisfy their $130 million in debt, the Denver Newspaper Agency (a joint venture between MediaNews and E.W. Scripps) is demanding that their employees sacrifice another $20 million from their wages and benefits.

$20 million also happens to be the amount the DNA's debt has decreased in the last three years. By one interpretation, that means the company is essentially asking the employees to shoulder 100% of the company's debt payments from that period.

It's worth pointing out that DNA heavyweights like MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton get a minimum 5% salary increase a year.

"You know, I'm not really into squeezing a few more million out. I'm not a money guy."

- Dean Singleton, 2003. (Columbia Journalism Review)


Anonymous said...

If the union let's this happen, they are fools. Why not let the executives and upper management cover the debt. 21% sounds like a good number.

Anonymous said...

What is the union to do? Their power ultimately comes down to hold their breath and pout.