OLD Media Moves

Dow Jones management to union: Contract ends in early April

March 19, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

The union representing business journalists at The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Marketwatch has sent an e-mail to its members noting that Dow Jones management has decided not to extend its contract while they are negotiating on a new one.

Dow JonesThe old contract expired Feb. 1 but was extended 60 days. The union offered to extend it another 60 days, but was told that the company wasn’t interested.

The e-mail, which came from union president Steve Yount and Journal reporter Jim Browning, head of the bargaining committee, stated, “That won’t affect your daily life much. They’ll keep paying your salary and providing the same benefits. You get the same seniority and layoff protection. Last time, we worked more than a year without a contract. One thing they don’t have to do is arbitrate new grievances.

“Importantly for us, unless the company takes us up on our offer, nothing will hold us back now from the kinds of joint actions we carried out last time.

“Because this frees our hands, we had thought they would want to extend the contract. But lately, they have been pretty much rejecting anything we suggest. They have gone more than a month without offering any new bargaining proposals, and, with no explanation, they simply canceled a recent bargaining meeting. Last week, they switched course again and said they would offer new proposals at our meeting Tuesday morning. We’ll see what they say.

“It’s hard to know what is behind this erratic behavior. Perhaps they think we will see it as toughness. Coming on top of Rich Zannino’s $4 million payday, it makes us wonder even more whether they are serious yet about offering us a quality contract.”

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