‘WSJ’ Guild Plans Fight Against Cuts

By: E&P Staff

Representatives with the guild that counts 2,000 employees of Dow Jones are looking for a way to save the 50 jobs to be eliminated at The Wall Street Journal in August.

Leaders of the Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees (IAPE) said they are in discussions with attorneys about terms of the contract.

“We will not simple accept any smooth or easy explanation from the company about the nature of the effect of these changes,” wrote IAPE President Steve Yount in a memo to guild members. “We have several serious concerns that must be addressed — and we are ready to pursue each and every one.”

On Wednesday, Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson said the company planned to trim several copy editing and page production positions, many of them located at the paper’s South Brunswick, N.J., office next month. The paper is inviting those affected by the move to reapply for 24 positions that will be created in New York though half of them, notes the IAPE, are non-guild jobs.

A full copy of Yount’s memo follows:
______

Friends,

Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson today announced a plan to reorganize The Journal’s copy-editing system, in the process eliminating roughly 50 jobs in South Brunswick at the Copy Desk and in Pagination. Copy editors have been told that they can apply for one of 24 jobs to be created in New York, half of them non-IAPE positions. We’re still waiting details on exactly what is being planned for the paginators — and how many jobs will be shifted to New York.

This is terrible news for our colleagues in South Brunswick and our thoguhts are with them. We intend to ensure that all of IAPE’s resources are with them as well.

We are in discussions with IAPE lawyers about how best to proceed. In addition, IAPE, with the support of the Newspaper Guild and the Communications Workers of America, will take every step available to us to defend our members in this case.

While we won’t pretend that we can save every job the company wants to cut, we can hold the company to the terms of the contract — with its specific provisions regarding layoffs. And that is exactly what we intend to do. We will not simply accept any smooth or easy explanation from the company about the nature of the effect of these changes. We have several serious concerns that must be addressed — and we are ready to pursue each and every one.

We will not permit Dow Jones now to make an end run around the contract in order to eliminate IAPE positions. We will also make sure that those who have lost their jobs receive every benefit they are due in the severance program outlined in the contract.

This is not the first time that Dow Jones has attempted to eliminate jobs improperly over the years, and on several occasions it has been forced to revise plans to bring its actions into line with labor law and the contract.

As always, if you have any questions — or problems — let me know.

Steve Yount
President
IAPE CWA 1096

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