‘Eugene Register-Guard’ Asks Unions for Wage, Benefits Concessions

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Publisher Tony Baker says the Eugene Register-Guard is asking its unions for wage and benefits concessions so the paper can return to profitability.

He says the company lost several million dollars in 2008, “and it’s imperative it never happen again.”

The newspaper cut 32 full-time positions last year, mostly through buyouts and attrition.

Newspapers nationwide have been hurt by rising costs and reduced advertising.

Baker says the newspaper needs to save another $2 million in 2009.

Randi Bjornstad, co-president of The Newspaper Guild local, says union leaders are meeting with Baker but need to know among other things how long concessions might last.

Baker says the business model is still strong, and he is confident the paper will survive.

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