Post-Dispatch unit members approve furlough agreement

United Media Guild members at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch approved an agreement with Lee Enterprises on the terms of two furlough weeks over the next three months.

The UMG had two conference calls Thursday to explain the situation and held the unit vote electronically.

Because we have a collective bargaining agreement in place, the UMG could have refused to bargain terms of the furlough. But given the dire economic conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, current labor law would have allowed Lee to impose the furloughs with its own conditions.

Or Lee could have proceeded to layoffs, a scenario we wanted to avoid during this crisis. Our negotiated agreement prevents Lee laying off any of our members during the furlough period and created several other guard rails for the implementation.

Those details were spelled out in our previous posting on this site.