Philadelphia Newspaper Drivers Reject Union Deal Again, Sale Up-in-the-Air

The sale of The Inquirer and other local papers in the Philly area hit another snag on Sunday, as the union that represents delivery drivers rejected a proposed labor deal.
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By a vote of 191 to 4, the Teamsters Local 628 voted down the proposal by Philadelphia Media Network Inc. for the second time. If an agreement between the two parties isn’t reached by noon on Tuesday, PMN will have the choice to walk away from its planned purchase of Philadelphia Newspapers, which owns The Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and the website Philly.com.

On Sunday, the machinists voted to approve its labor deal with the new company, leaving the drivers the only group out of 16 unions not to ratify an agreement.

“My people are saying, don’t mess with my pension,” said President of Local 628 John Laigaie to Philly.com.

“We are planning to participate in whatever process the court presents to us,” said chief executive officer for Philadelphia Media Greg Osberg. “And we will prevail. As a result, the Teamsters will be dealing with us again, but under different negotiating circumstances.”