Teamster President Throws Weight Behind Newsday Staffers

We’ve previously discussed the recent proposal that Cablevision has offered Newsday‘s editorial guild, which includes a 10 percent pay cut across the board, longer work weeks and a number of other unsavory concessions. And while the union has been vocal about its discontent, calling the proposal “horrible and unprecedented,” it looked like the staff was being backed into a corner: in March, 250 editorial positions will be up for review, which Cablevision could substantially cut or eliminate altogether if the terms are not met.

Taking an interest in staff plight at Newsday, The International Brotherhood of Teamsters general president James Hoffa told the editorial union, in a memo sent earlier this month, to not give in to the proposal, and that the Long Island paper’s staff would have “the full support of the 1.4 million member Teamsters organization in [their] fight.”

Newsday‘s owner’s long history with battling driver unions have not made them friends with many Teamsters, and the threat of a larger-scale protest (lead by Jimmy Hoffa’s son) may bring Cablevision back to the negotiation table.

Full memo from James Hoffa after the jump.

Update Newsday released a statement to FishbowlNY regarding the union negotiations:

“We worked closely with our union partners to reach an agreement that would help maintain Newsday as a strong and viable company. Newsday is part of an industry that continues to experience significant challenges, which is why this is an important decision to both the union and the future of our business. We are hopeful that this agreement will be ratified in the days ahead.”

Read More: Teamsters president urges Newsday staff to reject proposed contract — Romenesko

Previously: Cablevision Proposes Tough Concessions For Newsday Employees

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To: Members of GCC/IBT Local 406-C
From James P. Hoffa, General President
Date: January 7, 2010
Subject: Newsday Contract

Your struggle for a fair and decent contract with Newsday was recently brought to my attention by Graphic Communications Conference/IBT President George Tedeschi and IBT Newspaper Drivers Conference Director Joe Molinero. I want you to know that you have my full support and the full support of the 1.4 million member Teamsters organization in your fight.

I understand that economic times are tough. But, we do not have to accept woefully inadequate contracts that slash our wages, provide sub-standard working conditions and outsource our jobs, especially from a company that recently gave out millions of dollars in bonuses to its corporate executives.

Due to the significant number of concession in the contract offer proposed by Newsday that would have a substantial impact on you and your families, I concur with Conference President Tedeschi’s and Director Molinero’s call to reject this contract.

When you return to the bargaining table, you will have my full support and the backing of the entire Teamsters organization as you seek to reach an acceptable agreement for a new contract with Newsday that respects your contributions to the newspaper and adequately provides for you and your families.

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