Thursday, August 27, 2009

Good luck, folks ...

... Philly newspapers wage local-ownership campaign. (Hat tip, Paul Davis.)

"Our members are not interested in Brian Tierney's geography lesson, they want to hear him commit that the local ownership will not try to slash our wages and benefits, or put our pensions in jeopardy," local Guild administrator Bill Ross said Tuesday.

He called the local ownership campaign "laughable," noting the newspapers won more than 20 Pulitzer Prizes under corporate ownership of Knight Ridder, which was based in San Jose, Calif., before it was bought in 2006.

The Teamsters Union - with more than 2,000 full- and part-time employees working as drivers, press operators, mailers and in other jobs - strongly backs Tierney.

"We believe whatever pain we're going to suffer will be kept to a minimum under local ownership, in contrast to the banks," said John Dagle, a local Teamsters vice president.

Used to be that the Teamsters were the decisive factor when it came time to negotiate. I don't know if that still holds. But is the Guild thinking that its members will be better off if the creditors take control? Sounds iffy to me. Whatever the outcome, the Inquirer would be better of with newsroom management more oriented toward the 21st century, and not lost in nostalgia for what were, for them, the glory days of the paper and their careers.

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