New auction set for Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News. Our current contract remains in effect.
Dear Guild member,
This afternoon Bankruptcy Court Judge Stephen Raslavich ordered that a new auction for the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com be held Sept. 23 in his courtroom. Philadelphia Media Network, with whom the Newspaper Guild and 14 other unions had ratified contracts, will be a bidder. Other bidders have yet to identify themselves.
One change from the auction held in April will be that bids at the new auction will contain no contingencies that would obligate the new owners to bargain contracts with the unions in order to close. This does not mean that a new owner would come in and replace all the unions with new workers, but it does mean that a lone union can no longer jeopardize thousands of jobs and the entire company by hijacking and derailing the closing process.
A confirmation hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30 and closing on the new sale is scheduled for Oct. 12.
We are still working under the terms and conditions of our contract with Philadelphia Newspapers. The contract we just ratified will only take effect if and when Philadelphia Media Network successfully purchases the company. If a new company purchases the papers, we will return to the bargaining table with that entity.
As always, we will update the membership with any developments.
Dan Gross, President
Bill Ross, Executive Director
Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia/Communications Workers of America Local 38010