Thursday, April 19, 2007

Union raises it's voice at Dow Jones Annual Shareholders Meeting

Two Pulitzer Prize winners and a Washington correspondent speaking on behalf of war correspondents were among Guild Local 1096 (IAPE) members who addressed Dow Jones directors and shareholders Wednesday in support of their demands for a quality contract. In a memo to the membership, local president Steve Yount wrote: "Union members who attended said they saw the speeches' impact on directors' and senior executives' faces... Middle managers came up to speakers afterward to thank them for speaking out, and the issues we raised were discussed by directors after the meeting."

The union's presentation at the meeting is an example of how organized workers use their collective voice in support of their issues. In IAPE's case, "draconian (company) bargaining proposals" that include the move "to health plans that will cost us more and provide more limited benefits. All to save the company a few million dollars a year..." have created a very mobilized membership.

"... The compact that has long existed between the company and its employees is in the process of being broken. The outsiders who have arrived to run the company are carrying out cutbacks and outsourcing that threaten our quality standards. The cutbacks have put in danger our precious knowledge base, rooted in the generations of editors and reporters who built this newspaper and handed down the knowledge to their successors. The outrage among employees is making the union more and more powerful. Senior management will tell you not to worry about this. For one thing, the outsiders who now run our company figure that we are all easily replaceable. They are trying to cut the benefits they offer new hires, so they can hire on the cheap. They figure one reporter is the same as another. ..." — Bargaining Committee Chair E.S. (Jim) Browning

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