OLD Media Moves

Guild files complaint against Reuters

February 6, 2010

Richard Perez-Pena of the New York Times reports that the Newspaper Guild has filed a complaint against Reuters for cutting compensation to 420 employees.

Perez-Pena writes, “The union says that Reuters informed employees on Jan. 19 that it was declaring an impasse in year-old contract talks, and would impose new terms unilaterally, in stages over the course of the year. The guild contends that there was no impasse, making the move illegal.

“In its complaint to the National Labor Relations Board, the Guild said Reuters set in motion big increases in out-of-pocket costs for health care, the elimination of company contributions to an employee retirement plan, an end to automatic annual pay increases and an increase in the minimum hours of work needed to qualify for overtime. In all, the union said, the changes would amount to a 10 percent cut in compensation.

“‘They announced it in a memo to the staff without even telling us, when we weren’t even negotiating,’ said Bill O’Meara, president of the Newspaper Guild of New York. The previous contract, which covers newsroom and other employees around the country, expired in February 2009.”

Read more here. The contract talks were a major topic with editor in chief David Schlesinger during a conference call last month.

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