'Fresno Bee Guild' OKs Vacation 'Burn-Down' to Avoid Furloughs

By: E&P Staff Fresno (Calif.) Bee Newspaper Guild members have voted overwhelmingly to approve a so-called "vacation burn-down" plan the union says "virtually eliminates" the possibility of mandatory unpaid furloughs for the remainder of the year.

The vote came just a week after members of Local 3921 of California Media Workers narrowly rejected a nearly identical proposal from the McClatchy Co.-owned paper that would give the company the right to order union employees to take vacation days rather than accrue them over time.

Some members at the time said they wanted to accrue vacation days as a financial cushion in the event of a layoff.

After that vote, the Bee said it would implement unpaid furloughs.

But the new plan says there will be no furloughs in 2009 except in the event of "economic exigencies." The Bee will have to negotiate with the union before implementing any furloughs.


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