Autograph Hounded

O.J. is coming to the STL (shh!); plus the inside scoop on the Post-Dispatch's labor woes, a chat with Cedric's manager and the reason why you won't hear "Dude Looks Like a Lady" at JJ's

The story doesn't say.

Disclaimer: Unreal would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Carey. Writing a story about labor negotiations at your own paper has got to be the shit journalism job to end all shit journalism jobs.

Unreal made a few calls.

"I would say job security was the number-one issue," says a newsroom source who spoke on the condition that her name not be published. "Until we get job security, we're not going to change our minds, we're not going to agree to a contract."

Now that you mention it, the 574-word opus contains a passing reference to "job security" and "work rules" about halfway through, but no one quoted on either side discusses whether the issues had an impact on the vote.

According to our source, the contract offer would have made it easier for management to outsource work, potentially leaving some staffers out in the cold. Changes in disciplinary procedures were also key. "There would be a one-strike-you're-out instead of a graduated-step program to get rid of employees," the source reveals. Finally, management wants to reduce how much notice employees are given when their shifts change.

"What the vote showed us, especially in the newsroom, is we're stronger than we've ever been," the source says. "The problem is, for more than a year, management didn't really go to the negotiating table to negotiate anything," the source says. "We have just now started real negotiations. At this time, it's hard to say what will really happen."

Cut!

Barbershop 2 pulled in $24 million at the box office during its debut weekend, shoving the aptly named You Got Servedfrom the top slot. Many were surprised with the success of the sequel to the 2002 hit, but Eric Rhone, manager of Barbershopstar Cedric the Entertainer, was not one of them. Like Cedric, Rhone grew up in the Lou and now divides his time between the Central West End and LA. He was present for the filming of the comedy, which was set in Chicago.

Unreal:Where do you get your hair cut?

Eric Rhone:I go to Leroy's, which is at Natural Bridge and Jennings Station Road. That's the same barbershop where Nelly's tour manager worked and where Nelly used to go. It's very similar to the one featured in the movie -- that same type of atmosphere.

How much of St. Louis is in the Barbershop movies?

A lot of St. Louis was in there, a lot of Chicago and Milwaukee. That movie is indicative of what happens in barbershops across the nation in the urban community. Barbershops tend to be a place where people are able to let down their guards and speak their minds free of ramifications of any kind.

WillBarbershop 3 be set in St. Louis?

I have no idea, wouldn't that be great? [Laughs] Cedric and I and our production company definitely plan to come to St. Louis and shoot some films soon, to bring those marketing and production dollars into our community.

Who do you think is hotter, Queen Latifah or Eve?

They're both very attractive women. In my opinion, Eve looks better, but Queen just has such an attractive personality. That depends on what you like -- the external or the internal. That's a dangerous question; I'm married. My wife is hotter than both of them!

Who do you think is hotter, Ice Cube or Cedric?

That's even more dangerous. I live in the Central West End, so that's even more dangerous.

Can Cedric eat a lot?

Not like he used to. Back in school we all were having a good time. But he doesn't really eat a lot these days.

Correction published 2/25/04: In the original version of this story, we mischaracterized the minimum salary forPost-Dispatch reporters. The above version reflects the corrected text.

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