Last year, following a campaign that saw thousands of postcards sent to the Peoria Journal-Star publisher demanding fair treatment for employees, a press conference on the steps of city hall with the mayor reading a proclamation that called on the paper to bargain a fair contract, organized outreach from area pastors, a barrage of radio ads that encouraged citizens to get involved and leafleting at the annual shareholder’s meeting, GateHouse backed off their more draconian demands (steep wage cuts, eliminating the copy desk, etc) and signed an agreement with the Guild. Although that agreement wasn’t set to expire until March of 2014, GateHouse (who just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy) recently contacted PJ-S Unit Chair Phil Luciano and inquired about extending that agreement. Phil then talked to his unit officers and members and, after a few months of some quiet back-and-forth, the following communication was issued this afternoon:
With great pleasure, I report that the proposed contract extension passed by a unanimous mandate by Unit 86.
All members, plus our brethren in St. Louis and with TNG/CWA, should celebrate this as a great success. This kind of extension isn’t commonplace in our industry nowadays. It is surely a testament to our hard work over many years and decades, along with the steadfast support of our community.
Among the highlights:
*A three-year extension of the current contract, through March 2017.
*Protection of copy-desk jobs through that date.
*A signing bonus, payable in April
*Digital training for all members
A hearty thank-you goes out to every member, in Peoria and otherwise. This is what organized labor is all about: grassroots and collective efforts aimed at a common goal: justice.
The United Media Guild congratulates all our brothers and sisters in the Peoria Journal-Star unit for their solidarity and continued hard work!