Today, the leadership of the Newspaper Guild, the union that represents many employees of the Inquirer, Daily News, and philly.com, sent the following email to its members, making it clear that recent slashes to personnel were just the beginning:
Dear Guild member,
Earlier you received an email from Interstate General Media CEO Bob Hall about the company’s dire finances and anticipated losses for 2012.
We understand that revenue is down, but also question why a group of successful local businessmen did not anticipate this possibility when they bought the company in April and pledged to invest “patient capital” and revitalize the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com.
This afternoon Mr. Hall met with Guild leadership and said IGM is looking to cut $28 million from all its union contracts and hoping to achieve $8 million in cost cuts from the Guild through a wage cut of up to 13 percent and reducing jobs through buyouts.
Mr. Hall said management and all the unions need to work together as partners to achieve these savings and ensure ongoing survival of the papers, the company and our jobs. What Mr. Hall knows, and what you know, is that unlike the other unions whose contracts expire Oct. 8, 2012, the Newspaper Guild contract is in force through Oct. 8, 2013.
We are in no hurry to bargain a concessionary agreement and cause more pain on our members and their families. We are not interested in being used as the company’s bargaining chip with the other union workers who help produce and deliver our newspapers.
Dan Gross, President
Bill Ross, Executive Director and the Executive Board of the Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America Local 38010