Friday, March 13, 2009

Minneapolis Star Tribune, Pressmen Union Reach Tentative Deal

The Minneapolis Star Tribune and its pressmen union reached a tentative deal this morning after an all-night bargaining session in New York City.

Jill Barshay of the Star Tribune writes on its website:

The two sides were under threat of having their management-labor dispute resolved by a U.S. Bankruptcy court as early as this afternoon.

Union president George Osgood declined to reveal any details of the agreement, which involves layoffs, wage cuts and staffing changes, before explaining the deal to his membership and putting it to a vote.

"The membership has a right to know first. I will say that this agreement is more improved than the one the judge would have ruled on. We were able to make changes," said Osgood. "It is a better worse proposal."

The 116 members of the union must ratify the deal, but a date for a vote had not yet been set. Previous cost-cutting agreements last year were voted down by membership.

Star Tribune publisher Chris Harte said in a statement: "We’re very pleased to have reached an agreement with the Pressmen’s negotiating team. Implementing this deal is critical to the Star Tribune’s future. These are difficult but essential cost cuts, and we are glad to have reached an agreement through negotiation. We all want to move forward, emerge from bankruptcy and get the company back to financial stability."

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