Guild calls for ad boycott of Long Beach newspaper p. 27

By: M.L. Stein WITH CONTRACT negotiations stalled, the Newspaper Guild has asked local merchants not to advertise in the Long Beach, Calif., Press-Telegram.
Jim Smith, administrator at the Guild's Los Angeles Local 69, said some smaller retailers have pulled their ads, but Denny Freidenrich, director of marketing services at the Knight-Ridder newspaper, said it has not lost "one penny" in advertising as a result of the boycott.
Guild members have distributed "We Won't Advertise in the Press-Telegram" window signs to merchants, some of whom have displayed them.
Freidenrich said a management team has visited those stores and persuaded several owners to remove the signs "when we explained our point of view."
The Guild said its members are working without a contract at the Press-Telegram for the first time since the newspaper began bargaining with the union 50 years ago.
Nov. 15, the company canceled the contract when the two sides hit an impasse. The Guild is demanding a 3% wage hike; management refuses any increase. However, the paper is offering employee bonuses on contract ratification and other benefits, Freidenrich said.
"A three percent wage increase is not possible," he added.
Meanwhile, management has suspended Guild dues collection and Guild membership requirements.
"The Press-Telegram says they have economic problems, but they are still making a profit," Smith said.
The top minimum pay in the newsroom is $818 a week.
Guild membership, which totals about 235 employees at the paper, includes circulation drivers and custodial workers.
Smith said 93% of members voted to authorize a strike.
Freidenrich said, "We truly do want a contract but we will publish the paper every day in the event of a strike."
? M.L. Stein


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