Today and tomorrow at noon, in front of the LA Associated Press offices at 211 South Figueroa, employees of the wire service will be trying to encourage passersby to sign an online petition in support of their ongoing contract negotiation efforts.
AP staffers have been bargaining since October. The last offer made by management on March 23rd to the News Media Guild would reportedly freeze pensions and health care rates while offering only small salary increases. This after the journalists went without raises the past two years to help the cooperative make it through the recession. The petition letter addressed to AP CEO Tom Curley reads in part:
We believe that AP workers have already made sacrifices to meet the company’s financial challenges, and that their innovative proposal to protect their retirement plan should be accepted, and that AP negotiate fair wage and medical terms with its workers. We also believe in workplace diversity, and urge you to reinstate the minority journalist internship program without delay.
Tomorrow’s nationwide rally by AP office workers is the second such effort in recent months. More information about the AP workers’ pension proposal, which the union says could save $5 million, can be found here.