Company stance could result in biggest pay cut ever.
At our first bargaining session today, the day after owner Gerry Lenfest spoke withUSA Today about his determination to “save” our company (http://usat.ly/1uGlJ03), company negotiators said “It’s not economically feasible to talk about pay raises or contributions to health and welfare.”
The company has not raised its contribution to the Guild’s Health & Welfare Fund in 14 years and since the last contract the Guild Fund has been spending approximately $1.5 million per year to spare our members additional increases.
If the company maintains its position not to increase payments to our Health & Welfare Fund, the cost to Guild members willincrease by $50-$100 per week. For an employee with family coverage making $50,000 per year, that could be a cut of more than $5,000.
The company also proposed a number of work rule issues, but we will get nowhere on these issues until the health care issue is addressed.
The company also refused to give assurance that furloughs would end. And while the company offered to continue printing both papers for three years if it reached successful agreements with all of its unions, it would not guarantee those years would be free of layoffs.
The company said its goal is a contract that’s a win-win for both sides, but Day One makes it clear who it expects to be the loser.
Howard Gensler, President
Bill Ross, Executive Director
The Bargaining Committee of Local-38010 TNG/CWA