Star union approves new 2-year contract

The Indianapolis Newspaper Guild voted 56-45 today to ratify a new, two-year contract with the Gannett Co.-owned Indianapolis
Star that includes a 10-percent pay cut and two-year wage freeze. The guild announced the agreement on its Web site.

The agreement, which covers 185 employees represented by the union, takes effect Aug. 30.

“The action by
the membership of the guild is a financial sacrifice meant to help the Star’s bottom line during this economic downturn,”
the guild said in a statement on its Web site. “It is a sacrifice that we alone are bearing, as management and other
non-union personnel have not been asked to make this sacrifice. We expect the company to be aware of this sacrifice when the
economy improves.”

The contract also includes a undisclosed settlement with seven of 18 union members who
were let go from the Star in December. The guild said the company disregarded the employees’ seniority rights and sought their
reinstatement, with back pay.

With the assistance of a federal mediator, the guild’s leadership reached an
agreement with representatives of Virginia-based Gannett and the Star on Aug. 7 to take the contract proposal to membership
for a vote. Eighty-six percent of the membership voted today on the new contract.

Gannett originally sought a 12-percent
pay cut — an offer that union members overwhelmingly rejected in late June.
 

 
 

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