Gannett Co., parent of The Indianapolis Star, said it plans to hire 108 workers in the Indianapolis area over the next few months as part of an expansion of three of its media-related business units.
The Digital Employment Sales Center and Gannett Imaging and Design Center, both located in the Star building on North Pennsylvania Street downtown, and Gannett’s National Shared Service Center in Fishers will be adding the workers.
The groups serve Gannett media companies nationwide. Besides the Star, Gannett publishes USA Today and 80 other newspapers.
Indianapolis Star Publisher Karen Crotchfelt was out of town and unavailable to comment on specifics of Gannett’s local job plans.
McLean, Va.-based Gannett currently is locked in a labor battle with the Star’s union over terms of a new contract. The two sides have been negotiating since a two-year labor pact expired in August.
The Indianapolis Newspaper Guild, which represents 120 local editorial and building services employees, is asking Gannett to reinstate a 10-percent pay cut it agreed to in the last contract. It also wants a 3-percent annual raise during the term of the new contract, which the union wants extended to three years.
Union members also want assurances that page-design and copy-editing positions won’t be outsourced to Louisville.
“We find this objectionable because the company is profitable and Gannett has been doling out these huge bonuses,” said Robert King, the union’s president and a reporter at the Star.
Gannett disclosed in public filings that it paid Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow $9.4 million last year—double his 2009 pay—as the company laid off hundreds of workers and imposed wage cuts on thousands more. His pay included a $1.75 million all-cash bonus.
The union is planning a rally from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday in front of the Star’s building, King said.
The union launched an aggressive media campaign in September criticizing the corporation’s management of the newspaper.