Post-Dispatch Guild Readies Half A Mil For Fight

The St. Louis Newspaper Guild has authorized $500,000 to wage a possible campaign against the Post-Dispatch’s owner, Lee Enterprises.

The guild, which is currently in “acrimonious” negotiations with the paper over an expired contract, fears that the company will soon declare negotiations have reached an impasse. Under federal law, the company can then impose any cuts or contract terms it wishes.

On Thursday the executive board of the guild voted unanimously to allocate $500,000 for a campaign against the company, if an impasse should be declared.

The Guild states:

The current course of Lee management, both in labor negotiations and its disinvestment in the Post-Dispatch, threatens the interests of all stakeholders in Lee Enterprises.
We will launch a full-fledged corporate campaign against Lee only if the company terminates our contract and imposes wage and benefit cuts. This step will be taken only after our members vote to authorize such action.
The goal will be restore the Post-Dispatch as a quality newspaper that is worthy of St. Louis and capable of retaining a talented staff.

Newsroom employees at the Post-Dispatch are currently facing a threat of a 15 percent wage cut in the first year of their new contract, and a five percent cut the next two years.