‘Seattle Times,’ Guild Resolve Disputes

By: Gene Johnson, Associated Press Writer

(AP) The Seattle Times and the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild said Thursday they have settled all disputes but one relating to a strike at the newspaper a year ago.

The Times has agreed to pay $125,000 to settle accusations that it violated the deal that ended the strike by giving promotions to workers who crossed picket lines.

The Guild, meanwhile, will pay $50,000, and the Times will drop a lawsuit that accused the Guild of violating the same deal by refusing to promote the newspaper.

All of the money will go into a pot that will be appropriated by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which helped resolve the issues, said Liz Brown, Guild administrative officer. The Guild will provide the mediators with a list of workers who had grievances.

The money is expected to be given to those workers, but Brown would not comment more explicitly on its distribution. Times spokeswoman Kerry Coughlin said only that the distribution was up to the Guild.

The heart of the dispute was the definition of “replacements” under the agreement that ended the seven-week strike last January. The agreement called for all replacements to be moved out of jobs previously held by union workers.

New hires were moved, but some workers who crossed picket lines were given promotions or transfers. The union complained, saying that once the strike was over, the Times should have rescinded those promotions and given the positions to union workers.

The compromise announced Thursday allows the Times to keep those promotions in place.

Editorial, advertising, and circulation workers at the Times and at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer walked out last Nov. 21 over salary issues and benefits. The P-I, whose circulation and advertising are handled by the Times under a joint-operating agreement, did not have similar back-to-work issues.

By the time the strike ended, many workers had left for other jobs. The Times laid off another 14, citing financial difficulties.

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