The Guild: balls to the wall

Dateline: Tue 31 Mar 2009

In Monday's Inkling, Guild members are advised that voting is Wednesday on Gannett's "request" (ha) for more furloughs (in the second quarter).

Here is a portion of Guild prez Tom Spalding's message to membership:

"....You may be asking, or thinking, about the Indy News Guild's position on the second-quarter furloughs. In trying to conduct our version of due diligence, we've been given a fairly dramatic what-if scenario. What if we all vote no? The company told us in an e-mail over the weekend that they would have to cut an estimated 20 to 25 jobs out of the 204-person bargaining unit (which includes newsies and our friends in building services) to achieve their cost savings.

"A majority of Guild officers - who provided NO endorsement during the vote for the first-quarter furlough back in January - now recommend a "yes" vote for round 2. It's the best of a bad lot of options, but the one that keeps us all employed and the newspaper functioning. We all hope a cooperative spirit also will help at the bargaining table; remember, a much more heinous 15 percent wage cut is looming before us as part of contract talks that resume April 14-15. Is the company still serious about that?"

Yes, the company is serious about cutting wages and doing everything it can to eliminate journalism as we know it from the face of the earth.

Read this, and weep.

The Guild can't strike; it can't vote no, or so it believes, and survive. Once again, it's a case of respectable and hard-working journalists and other equally hard-working Guild members having to bend over and take what the company is delivering...

Time to quit the system.


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