Union agrees to bargain to help save Philly papers
Shortly after taking over, the company asked Guild members for $8 million in wage and benefit concessions, but the union refused to reopen its contract. The Guild represents about 500 newsroom, advertising and circulation employees.
Union executive director Bill Ross said the company will lessen the $8 million demand when new bargaining begins Friday, though he did not offer a new figure.
If a new agreement cannot be reached or ratified, the existing contract stays in effect until its expiration nine months from now.
Teamsters Local 628 President John Laigaie said Thursday that his unit, which represents about 340 delivery drivers, security officers and building service workers, has reached a tentative agreement with Interstate that includes givebacks. Members plan to vote next week.
"The concessions we've made are really a reflection of what the business is right now," Laigaie said. "They've shown (us) the numbers, and they're not good."
The Guild and Teamsters are the papers' two largest unions. The status of negotiations with the other nine units was not immediately clear Thursday.
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