Jersey Journal Staffers Protesting Parent Company?s Plan to Cut Benefits, Freeze Pay

By: E&P Staff

Jon Whiten | Jersey City Independent

The Jersey Journal‘s unionized editorial staff members will protest today for a second straight day in front of the paper’s Journal Square offices today as they fight parent company Advance Publication’s plan to cut their benefits and freeze their pay.

Workers at the paper have been without a contract since June 2009. As we reported last spring, the Newspaper Guild was trying to wrap its contract negotiations into the negotiations happening at that time to keep the paper afloat. But management refused to tackle both at once, and while the Journal stayed open, it lost five guild members; two editorial managers; and a handful of accounting, circulation, and sales staffers.

The union says that with the cost-savings generated by all of 2009′s personnel cuts, the privately-held media conglomerate Advance, whose properties include everything from the Star-Ledger and to Vogue magazine and the New Yorker, should be able to pony up for small raises.

“Times are tough in the newspaper business. No one disputes that,” guild spokesman John Phillips says in a statement. “But management has axed jobs, saving upwards of $400,000 the last two years. Whose pockets get that money? Not the employees. Surely management can afford modest raises for the reporters, photographers and editors who work long hours at very modest wages to produce the news.”

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