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Posts Tagged ‘Newspaper Guild of New York’

Morning Media Newsfeed: AJA Countersues Gore | Time Inc. Guild Talks Break Down

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Al Jazeera America Countersuing Al Gore (TVNewser)
It looks like Al Jazeera America isn’t taking the lawsuit levied by former Vice President Al Gore lying down. The company countersued Gore and Joel Hyatt Friday. The Associated Press The parties are fighting over money that is being held in escrow. The former vice president and Hyatt, the founder of Hyatt Legal Services, sued the network last month saying that it was improperly withholding tens of millions of dollars placed in escrow when Al Jazeera bought Current TV for $500 million. THR / Hollywood, Esq. According to Gore and Hyatt, Al Jazeera squandered those favorable distribution rights by making an “ill-advised, one-sided” agreement with Time Warner Cable, which set off “most favored nation” obligations to other distributors. According to Al Jazeera, it’s Gore and Hyatt who shoulder the blame — and responsibility — for what later happened by failing to get TWC on board in the first place. New York Post Friday’s countersuit insists that AJA, as Current TV’s buyer, did not “make phony claims” but had a “contractual right to be indemnified.” “Al Jazeera America rightfully seeks compensation from an escrow fund that was established solely and specifically to protect Al Jazeera against any harm resulting from these inaccurate representations,” the countersuit claimed. In the countersuit, Al Jazeera stated it made five claims on the escrow money, relating mostly to disagreements it had with distributors following the sale. Variety The purchase price was reportedly $500 million, and, although that figure also was redacted from Al Jazeera’s filing, the company noted that Gore is “reported to have made between $70 and $100 million from the sale.” Gore and Hyatt contend that they initially harbored “serious reservations” about selling the network to Al Jazeera, but decided to entertain the idea of such a sale after performing due diligence and consulting with former senior U.S. government officials.

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Norm Pearlstine Dismisses Spreadsheet Furor [Updated]

Time__Inc_-logo-2ED06AA15C-seeklogo.com_Sometimes, Time-ing can be everything. New York contributing editor Gabriel Sherman has been working on a big feature article about Time Inc. that is due next week.

So… When Gawker fanned the flames of the Sponsored Content Apocalypse with its Monday report about a controversial Sports Illustrated spreadsheet, Sherman was in a perfect warm-phone position to get comment from a top executive. He spoke today with Time Inc. chief content officer Norm Pearlstine:

Pearlstine pushed back hard against the criticism of the document. He said the controversy has been drummed up by the [Newspaper] Guild as part of a tense contract negotiation.

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New York Times Union Members Approve New Contract

After many months of often testy negotiations, The New York Times Newspaper Guild of New York members have agreed to a new contract. Some details of the new deal, per the Guild:

Within the next 30 days, Times Guild members will receive a 3 percent bonus, and starting March 31, 2013, they will receive the first of three 2 percent annual raises. Starting in 2014, they become eligible for an incentive bonus of up to 2 percent, based on the same plan that covers upper managers, and which would have yielded a payout of 1.1 percent, based on its recent average. The contract expires on March 30, 2016.

The union’s president, Bill O’Meara, credited the Times staffers’ efforts in establishing a new contract.

“The level of engagement and activism among members at the Times has been greater than anything I’ve seen in my 24 years at the Guild,” O’Meara said, in a statement. “Without it, we would never have been able to accomplish what we did.”

New York Times and Union Reach Tentative Deal

After over a year of negotiations, The New York Times and the Newspaper Guild of New York finally have a deal in place. According to the Times, the parties have agreed “in concept” to a new five-year contract.

The new deal, according to the Guild, “preserves a defined benefit pension plan, protects the jointly trusteed medical plan, and includes increases in compensation.”

Nothing is final yet, as the deal is subject to changes by Guild members. Martin Scheinman, the mediator who joined the discussions in early October, has asked that no further details be shared, so we’ll have to wait on the nitty-gritty of the contract.

The talks between the Times and the union have been highly stressed at moments, so it’s good to hear that a new deal is almost done.

Newspaper Guild Sends Another Letter to Arthur Sulzberger

The latest move by the Newspaper Guild of New York to get the New York Times to budge on a new contract involved a new letter to Arthur Sulzberger. Signed by 248 Times staffers, the note urges him to meet the union’s demands, because the alternative is something neither side wants:

As it became clear that not even mediation was moving the company to realistic terms on compensation, we have taken the temperature of the newsroom. Some of our colleagues have moved beyond their bewilderment, past a sense of betrayal, to openly discussing the prospect of having to seek other work, perhaps even new careers. After building the world’s finest newsroom with people who would literally go to war for The Times, you cannot possibly regard these outcomes as desirable. We don’t.

The letter was delivered to Sulzberger only hours after Times union members handed out informational flyers in front of the Times building.

The entire letter to Sulzberger can be read here.

New York Times Staffers Make Plea for New Contract on Twitter

New York Times staffers have taken their fight for a new contract to Twitter. Here are some that are making their voices heard.


New York Times Union Members Continue Demonstrations

The struggle between the Newspaper Guild of New York and The New York Times to get a new contract hammered out continues. Unionized staffers at the paper have staged a walk-out, have taken a group photo of themselves to give new CEO Mark Thompson, and tomorrow they will take part in “informational hand-billing.”

According to a union memo obtained by Jim Romensko, the union asks staffers to make time between 4 pm and 5:30 pm to distribute information outside of the Times’ headquarters.

“With flyers and placards, we’ll be right outside our own building (and, handily enough, directly across the street from Proskauer Rose, the law firm that is representing the company in the current talks),” states the note. “The public relies on us to give them the story straight.”

The question is, will anyone bother to take a flyer? And if they do, will they just glance at it and then toss it in the trash can on the next corner? Many a flyer have met their death this way.

New York Times and Union Agree to Mediation

Right on the heels of a promise to send one “final offer” to New York Times union members, the company and the Newspaper Guild of New York have decided to bring things to a mediation.

According to the Guild, it suggested that the two parties bring in Martin Scheinman to be the mediator, and the Times agreed. The mediation agreement — at least for now — means that no “final offer” will be made by the Times.

The Guild sounded cautiously optimistic about the news:

Scheinman has been involved in recent mediations and arbitrations involving The Times, and his abilities are respected by both the Guild and the company. It is the belief of both sides that his involvement heightens the potential of reaching a fair and mutually acceptable agreement.

New York Times to Make ‘Final Offer’ to Union Members Tomorrow

The New York Times staffers’ walkout on Monday certainly got the attention of the company, but the response was certainly underwhelming to union members. According to the Newspaper Guild of New York, Times management walked out of negotiations yesterday after only 10 minutes and then cancelled today’s contract talks. The company added that a “final offer” was coming tomorrow.

“This means management will try to ratchet up the pressure by taking a step that, conceivably, could take us to the brink of impasse,” read a statement from the union. “For now, however, a so called ‘final offer’ is just another reckless step that is much in keeping with management’s sorry track record during this negotiation.”

During negotiations on Tuesday, the Guild asked why members were offered zero raises in 2011 and a one percent bump for the final months of this year. Bernard Plum, the lawyer representing the Times Company, allegedly responded, “This is a declining industry and a declining business,” and that it was common for management to ask staffers to make sacrifices, and “even more common to have zeros.”

The Guild’s mobilizing committee met last night and will be reaching out to members soon.

New York Times Union Members to Walk Out Over Contract

The long-lasting contract negotiations between The New York Times and the Newspaper Guild of New York is taking a new twist today: A planned walk out by union members.

According to a memo sent out by the Guild, Times staffers will stage a walk out at 3:35 pm, then hold a brief rally, where pro-union stickers will be distributed. Afterward staffers will return to their desks.

“It is long past time for the company and its negotiators to pay attention to what matters most of all to us,” reads the union memo, which was obtained by Jim Romenesko. “Together, we can make sure that happens. Join in, as beginning today, we will repeat our message until they hear it: Nothing less than fair wages and benefits.”

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