Union Asks ‘Pioneer Press’ to Rescind Layoff

By: Dave Astor

The Minnesota Newspaper Guild-Typographical Union today asked the St. Paul Pioneer Press to rescind the layoff of editorial cartoonist Kirk Anderson.

Also, a petition is circulating at the newspaper urging Pioneer Press management to keep Anderson, whose three-day-a-week job is slated to end Thursday (see April 18 story on this site). Pioneer Press reporter Chuck Laszewski said he expects at least 500 staffers to sign.

Laszewski — who said the paper has employed an editorial cartoonist for decades — told E&P Online: “It’s inconceivable they would do something this harmful when we’re in direct competition with the [Minneapolis] Star Tribune. The amount of money they’ll save is a pittance.”

Laszewski said he hopes the petition will be presented to Pioneer Press President and Publisher Harold Higgins on Wednesday or Thursday of this week. Last Friday, Higgins said he would not discuss personnel matters with E&P Online.

Mike Sweeney, the union’s executive officer, said: “It was incredibly ill-advised and shortsighted to lay off one of the most visible people at the newspaper for economic reasons.”

When asked, Sweeney confirmed that the Pioneer Press also recently laid off three management people not represented by the union.

E&P welcomes letters to the editor: letters@editorandpublisher.com.

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