The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


December 11, 2015billrossInquirer

Guild Members,


On Monday the Guild filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge and grievance against Philadelphia Media Newspapers, LLC charging the Employer with bargaining in bad faith during the 2015 collective bargaining negotiations.  The Executive Board of the Guild has taken this serious action because it has been brought to our attention that the Employer’s proposal to eliminate side letters to the previous contract, on the basis that the underlying purpose of those commitments were no longer applicable, was false.


Contrary to what the Employer’s negotiators said, the proposal to eliminate Side Letter No. 7,  that provided  in the event the Employer agreed to make contributions to the pension fund of any other union, it would be obligated to make the same contributions to the Guild Pension Fund, the Employer failed to disclose the fact that it had already agreed to resume contributions to the Teamsters Pension Plan.


Withholding material information, of which it was aware during the collective bargaining, constitutes fraudulent inducement.  Such conduct is not only unlawful, it is also reprehensible, and unconscionable. This is especially the case in light of the dire financial condition of the Pension Fund as a result of the previous management’s greed and incompetence that resulted in the bankruptcy and discharge of its obligation to pay all but a fraction of its withdrawal liability to our Pension Fund.


Although the players may have changed, even though incredibly some of them are still around, apparently the game is still the same.  The Executive Board will not sit back and allow the Employer to walk away from its obligations to our members and their families without a fight.


If the Employer claims that its negotiators assurance that it was “out of the defined benefit pension business” and, therefore, it had not agreed, and will not again contribute to the Teamsters Pension Plan, was truthful, all it has to do is agree to reinstate  Side Letter No. 7.  That would not only restore management’s credibility, it would also assure our members that if in the event management comes to the realization that restoring an honorable resolution to the pension crisis for the Guild and the other defined benefit plans is the right course, Guild members will be treated the same as other union employees.


We will keep you apprised of further developments.


In Unity,


Howard Gensler President

Bill Ross Executive Director

Diane Mastrull PMN Unit Chair

The Executive Board TNG-CWA 38010