By: E&P Staff
By a near-unanimous vote, union newsroom employees authorized Newspaper Guild negotiators to call a strike at the Akron Beacon Journal.
The Guild and Beacon Journal management have been negotiating for more than a year to replace a contract that expired in June 2008. In a vote Wednesday night, only one member voted against authorizing a strike, the union said.
According to a Guild statement, the newspaper is asking for a 16.75% salary cut from the approximately 85 journalists, librarians and secretaries it represents in the newsroom. The company is also seek to freeze the pension and shift a larger share of health insurance costs to employees. The company is proposing “a change to sick pay that would be worse than what WalMart offers,” the Guild local said.
“The last thing we want is a strike but we are willing to do whatever is necessary to secure a fair contract that reflects the valuable contributions of our members,” Guild local President Bob DeMay, an assistant photo editor at the Beacon Journal, said in a statement.