Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Union at Lexington Herald-Leader will vote Wednesday on management proposal for layoffs and pay cuts

The Lexington Herald-Leader employee union will vote Wednesday on a management proposal that would result in layoffs for as many as 19 union-covered employees.
The Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and the Lexington Newspaper Guild are nearing an agreement that would eliminate either 14 or 19 Guild members in the newsroom, the Web site Business Lexington reported Tuesday.

Local Guild leader Brandon Ortiz said the tentative agreement was close and a vote is set for tomorrow. But he added that union leaders would not advise members which way to vote, the Web site stated.

The story reports that Herald-Leader management made two proposals to labor reps: one that would require concessions of a 5% salary cut and five furlough days for all staffers in exchange for 14 layoffs. The second option removed concessions and expanded the layoffs to 19 newsroom positions.

Herald-Leader Publisher Tim Kelly said in the story they hope to have “final plans for cost reductions announced on or before next Monday,” which would extend beyond just union-covered employees.

“The Herald-Leader is far from being a failing paper, believe me,” Kelly said in the report.

The story added that "much of the trouble for the Herald-Leader comes from debt that must be serviced by its parent company McClatchy which bought the Herald’s former parent chain Knight-Ridder in 2006."

I expect the Lexington union will vote in favor of management's proposal, just like the unions in Sacramento, Modesto and Fresno did.

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