Monday, February 8, 2010

Newsday's Union to Examine Paper's Finances

Newsday union leaders will meet with management Tuesday afternoon to examine the paper's financial status in preparation for talks aimed at procuring fair terms for the workers who report, photograph, edit, produce and deliver the Long Island paper every day, Local 406 GCC/IBT announced in a news release this morning.

George Tedeschi, the president of the Graphic Communications Conference of the Teamsters Union, will lead talks for Local 406 GCC/IBT. Bruce Lambert, a former Newsday reporter who helped launch the editorial unit of Local 406 in 1976 and was a union vice president for more than two decades, will assist him, the union said. Others who are expected to participate in the talks are Joe Molinero, director of the Teamsters Newspaper, Magazine, and Electronic Media Workers Division, and Jim Kimball, director of the Teamsters Economics and Contracts Department.

On Jan. 23, Local 406 overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to reduce salaries by 10 percent to 15 percent, cut vacations, and lengthen the workweek.

After the 473-10 vote, Local 406 members have been displaying solidarity by wearing the same color on chosen days. The group expects the spontaneous color events to continue through the talks.

The news release said that union leaders are ready to help Newsday management, which says the paper is financially troubled. A union accountant is ready to examine Newsday's financial statements when the paper agrees to release them. There are 550 reporters, photographers, editors, press operators, plate makers, electronic pre-press workers, truck drivers and building and maintenance workers represented by the unit.

Note: I was a member of the union for more than a decade.

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