'Some justice' for fired Star employees

Dateline: Thu 23 Sep 2010

Here is an email that went out to members of the local newspaper Guild in Indianapolis. The issue is those Indianapolis Star workers who lost their jobs in 2009. As one friend asked, "Does it sound like Gannett forced  Guild 70 not to reveal details of this plan in order to complete it?" Yes.

Here 'tis:

Sept. 23, 2010


The officers of Indy News Guild wanted to share with you the progress of our ongoing legal battle with Gannett.

About 15 months into our contract and legal dispute with the company,a deal was reached Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court-Indianapolis between corporate and the union that settles our federal lawsuit and gives some justice to eight of our laid-offcoworkers from July 2009.

The eight will not be rehired but will receive a confidential financial settlement that the current slate of officers finds favorable. For those still employed here, the important victory was that the company will honor the terms of our collective bargaining agreement even after the contract expires Sept. 1, 2011. That's the contract that provides guaranteed severance, no outsourcing and so forth. That's a big deal with the threat of the Gannett hubs/layoffslooming in the future.

There are many people to thank, including a half-dozen former Guild officers -- some of whom don't even work here any more - who rallied to help our cause. Because of them, we built a really strong case. One stands out in particular: Sylvia Halladay, ex-secretary, provided an archive of superb note-taking and institutional memory. Though she was also laid off in July '09, she wasn't part of the group that we were representing in the lawsuit. But she took seriously and with a lot of integrity their cause as her own and we would not have been in the position of leverage without her help.

We plan to hold a Q&A on this and other matters at our next membership meeting (likely in early to mid-October). Thank you for reading.

Keep It Local.

In solidarity,

Tom Spalding
Indy News Guild


jersey [unverified] said:

I am happy for those who benefit from this decision.
A comment on the print edition which I still read because it is a tough habit to break; that semi wrap around ad over the front page is annoying as hell and I would purposely not patronize anyone who advertises that way...what was with the ad that trickled down through the middle of page three yesterday? I guess they are trying hard, but all it does is annoy the hell outa me.

2010-09-23 12:15:56

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

The front-page wrap is annoying, Jersey. So are the post-it notes from various advertisers. But the newsies have to eat, and that is probably the price we pay.

Accpetbale, if aggravating.

The dela sounds like a good one...but one phrase jumped to mind after reading this:

Hush money?

2010-09-23 12:51:12

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

I hope it is a true victory over corporate evil for all of the folks involved.

Jersey: thank you for mentioning about that
irritating wrap-around on the front page.
Due to health problems, I can't use my hands and arms very well and I thought it was just ME having problems with it today.

2010-09-23 13:21:56

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Before reading the Star, I wad up the wrap, and empty the inserts into the waste basket. As an article of faith, I never look at the inserts or the wrap.

I was once involved in a real estate development which used Valassis money. Valassis earned the dough by inventing the machine that inserts the inserts. The family scion was mainly interested in golf, so the family dream was realized by bankrolling a golf community. May they never break 100.

2010-09-23 19:16:53

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