The St. Louis Newspaper Guild accepted Saturday a 5 1/2-year contract with management at the Post-Dispatch.
The agreement with Lee Enterprises will cut employees' pay by six percent immediately, but there are provisions that would restore some of the cuts down the road if profits increase. The vote was 132-54.
Brian Flinchpaugh of the Globe-Democratwrites:
“People want the Post to succeed and they want Lee to succeed and they want to keep the Post strong,” said Jeff Gordon, president of the St. Louis Newspaper Guild and a sports columnist at the Post. “That’s the hope.”
Gordon said guild members realized if they fought Lee, they could have damaged the Post-Dispatch. One guild strategy if the contract was rejected was to mount a $500,000 public relations campaign against Lee.
The campaign would ask the public to suspend their subscriptions to the Post. More help may come from the national Communications Workers of America.
That could have lead to more layoffs and make an already bad situation worse, he said.
Gordon said guild leaders and some members worried whether they would get anything more if they rejected the contract. Other labor negotiations at newspapers in Minneapolis, Chicago and other major cities are following a similar pattern.
The guild represents reporters, photographers, editors, advertising personnel and other employees