Post-Dispatch Union Scribes Suck It Up & Accept Lee Enterprises' Concessions

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The mood was somber on Saturday afternoon as St. Louis Post-Dispatch employees strode into their union meeting to vote on Lee Enterprises' "last, best and final [contract] offer."

The St. Louis Newspaper Guild's contract for P-D employees expired in June 2009; the union and Lee have been in talks ever since, trying to hash out a deal acceptable to both sides. But the negotiations broke down in mid-March, with Lee ultimately submitting a final offer that required employees to submit to a laundry list of concessions.

In an up-or-down vote, the union voted Saturday in favor of adopting the contract, 132 (yes) : 54 (no).

Hello, six-percent pay cuts for the next three years (and potentially longer, depending on revenues), plus unpaid furloughs!

Goodbye retiree health benefits, and seniority when it comes time to pink-slip people (which can happen, but not until after October 1, 2010).

From what Daily RFT is hearing, some employees were surprised that the contract was accepted. At least a few were pissed off. But most, on the whole, simply resigned themselves to the concessions.

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