Sun-Times Employees Between A Rock And A Hard Place

The Chicago Sun-Times could be saved from liquidation if it was sold to a new, non-bankrupt owner. (The Sun-Times Media Group filed for bankruptcy March 31 of this year.)

But the company has said a new union contract that “basically guts” the current contract is a prerequisite to any sale.

The proposed three-year contract:

  • Cuts max severance pay from 50 weeks to four
  • Locks in what was a temporary 15 percent pay cut
  • Freezes the company’s pension plan
  • Erases banked vacation and paid time off accrued before October 2008
  • Eliminates seniority rules and would allow the new owners to “reassign work at will”

According to
Phil Rosenthal at the Chicago Tribune, union leaders are concerned that they would first give up their severance and then be laid off to cut costs further.

An investment group may buy the company for more than $25 million, but only if these concessions are reached in the next three weeks.