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    December 2009
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From The Members of the Hawaii Newspapers Guild… Cancel Your Subscribtion to the Hawaii Tribune

*Update* click on the flier below  for a larger version (once opened, scroll over and hit magnifying glass)*

Hawaii Tribune-Herald cancels contract with Hawaii Newspaper Guild

HILO – The Hawaii Tribune-Herald is terminating the bargaining contract of their union workers three days before Christmas. Publisher Ted Dixon earlier this month informed the Hawaii Newspaper Guild Local 39117 that effective Dec. 22, 2009, the company would no longer honor the written Extension Agreement (signed Dec. 7, 2004) to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

This means the bargaining contract will in all respects be terminated and expired, Dixon said.

This does not automatically mean that the parties will go on strike or declare a lockout. However, beginning Dec. 22 the Guild can legally go on strike or the Company can declare a lockout without prior notice. The Stephens Media-owned company is also trying to strike a financial blow against the union by no longer automatically deducting dues from paychecks and can now decide which grievances go to arbitration.

The Company has shied from declaring an overall impasse. An impasse means the Company can institute any of their proposals from the last negotiation. Wayne Cahill, Administrative Officer for the Hawaii Newspaper Guild said, “Should this happen, the Company will effectively declare war against its own employees and Guild members will take appropriate action.”

What does this mean for Tribune-Herald readers, subscribers and advertisers? “Nothing, for now. As long as neither side chooses the ‘nuclear option’ of a strike or lockout, then it will be business as usual,” Cahill said.

Cahill continued, “Business as usual means newspaper employees will endure the eighth year of a wage freeze.

“Business as usual means more of the same unproductive negotiation sessions since 2004 (there have been 59, by Dixon’s count) and more of the same onerus, bad faith ultimatums and unacceptable ‘package deals’ that, if accepted, would render the Guild powerless to represent its workers.

“Business as usual means that money will continue to flow from the Big Island to Little Rock, Ark., where billionaire investment banker Warren Stephens, president and CEO of Stephens Inc., maintains his fleet of four private jets, a $18 million world-class private golf course and a No. 97 ranking on the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans. One of Stephens Inc.’s private equity investments is a conglomerate of 40 newspapers called Stephens Media. Of those newspapers, only one has a union – and the company wants to change that.

“These are tough times for the economy, and for the newspaper industry in particular. But Stephens Media has never claimed an inability to pay, and its CEO has said recently that its newspapers are not in debt. So the issue is not an inability to pay. The issue is the Company’s unwillingness to give employees a fair share and to punish them for asking for anything that might detract from the money that the Hawaii Tribune-Herald readers, advertisers and subscribers give to its parent company.”

The Hawaii Newspaper Guild is asking the community to show their support of the union by signing Subscription Cancellation Pledge Cards. Subscribers of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald can opt to sign these union pledge cards which will cancel their subscription to the paper once the union submits them to the newspaper and the boycott is in effect. Pledge cards can be downloaded from www.tribuneunion.wordpress.com, requested via fax at (808) 585-6465, or via email at wcahill@cwahawaii.org. Supporters can mail their completed pledge cards to: Hawaii Newspaper Guild, 475 Kinoole St., PMB 172, Hilo, HI 96720-2900.

For more information, contact Hawaii Newspaper Guild Administrative Officer Wayne Cahill at (808) 531-5455 or 1-800-984-3484; e-mail:wcahill@cwahawaii.org. Future updates will also be posted on our website at www.tribuneunion.wordpress.com.

3 Responses

  1. That and the UKIRT closing are the two most asinine things I have heard of this holiday season. I understand the need for new contracts and even financial cutbacks and closures, but WHY must these things happen just days before Christmas holidays? Don’t these companies have even an ounce of compassion for their loyal hard working staff and their families?

  2. Too small…Can’t read it

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