Staffers at ‘Vindicator’ in Youngstown, Ohio, Strike Over Wages

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(AP) Employees at the Vindicator newspaper went on strike early Tuesday after last-ditch contract talks failed.

Reporters, photographers, delivery drivers, and other employees at the 70,000-circulation daily set up picket lines shortly after the contract expired at midnight.

“We couldn’t bridge the gap on the key issues of wages and health care benefits,” said Debora Shaulis, vice president of Local 34011 of the Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America.

Vindicator General Manager Mark Brown said the newspaper was prepared to publish in the event of a walkout. The Vindicator, with a circulation of about 70,000 daily and 100,000 on Sunday, covers parts of northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

The newspaper has proposed a four-year contract, while the current agreement is for two years. Shaulis said that wages and health care were the top issues but declined to provide specifics on union demands.

Brown said last week the union wanted a one-year, 16.8 percent wage increase for reporters and a higher increase for some other job classifications. He declined to detail the newspaper’s offer.

The local also represents copy editors and classified advertising sales people.

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