Philly Guild: Management is trying to scare members into accepting a bad contract

Update: Tentative agreement reached.

Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News human resources chief Keith Black tells Guild members that, in case of a strike, they can continue working and “we will make arrangements for security to protect everyone’s safety.” He adds that “at your manager’s discretion, you may be permitted to work from home or from another remote location.”

Journalists who choose to strike are welcome to return to the newsroom when there’s a settlement “if there is still work available … [but] if there is not work available for everyone, then some of the striking employees will not be able to return at that time.”

The Philadelphia Newspaper Guild says the HR boss is trying to scare journalists into settling with management.

From: Guild Bulletin
Date: 06/25/2015 11:04 AM (GMT-05:00)

Guild members,

Keith Black’s memo regarding strike–related issues is a rather clumsy and predictable attempt to frighten our members to accept the Company’s inferior contract offer. His ‘helpful advice’ in the FAQ on how you can work in the event of a strike, that he claims the company “created” is a disingenuous blueprint on how to become a scab, that has been used by union busting employers for decades. Plagiarism in its purest form. As your bargaining committee can assure you, Black’s absence of credibility and incompetence has been consistent throughout these negotiations./CONTINUES

If the Company is concerned about our members’ welfare in the event of a strike, it has the absolute power to prevent a work stoppage. All it has to do is withdraw its proposal to eviscerate the seniority rights you have earned through your dedicated service during your tenures with the company and increase the Employer’s contribution to the Health & Welfare Fund, and thus avoid the devastating economic and job threatening consequences that its proposal represents.

Will there be consequences if there’s a strike? Of course.

If a work stoppage occurs because the Employer refuses to deal fairly and honestly with us we will discuss the lawful steps the Guild will take to protect you, including strike benefits, as well as the Employer’s continuing obligations, in a candid and accurate fashion.

Instead of hiring a union busting law firm, perhaps the money could be better spent in making a fair contract offer. After all, “It’s not charity, it’s an investment!”

Howard Gensler
Bill Ross
Diane Mastrull
Cindy Burton
Regina Medina
Melanie Burney
Brian McCrone

* Read the human resources vice president’s strike FAQ (Google Drive)